Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Glove Compartment

So, now that you know you are supposed to be wearing driving gloves, what are you going to do with them once you need to take them off?

I was at a party this weekend and my friend Nick had been handed his girlfriend's evening gloves to store for the rest of the night. He folded them and had the fingers sticking out of his pants pocket. I was walking by and said, "Hey, that's very fashionable of you, I'm going to blog about that this week!" He thought I was joking....
Nick, accidentally trendy!

Conveniently, there is a micro trend happening right now wherein gloves are being used as an accoutrement! In place of a pocket square, or simply adding some whimsy. Once you are ready to take your gloves off, just add them as an accessory! All the pictures below are extracted from either StreetFSN or Tommy Ton for GQ.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grammy Style

Ugh. The style at the Grammys is always terrible. Our star musicians always want to make a statement so badly, that they forget all taste, class, and anything cool. Fortunately, there were a handful of guys who still dressed reasonably well. Here are my top picks of the night. All pictures were pulled from Which do you like and why?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not Quite White

Ecru is a hard color to describe, and an even harder color to wear.

The word itself is french and originates in Latin, meaning "unbleached or raw." Webster's dictionary also defines it as "beige." Wikipedia, relying on every day people to define something says, "Ecru describes the shade greyish-pale yellow or a light greyish-yellowish brown." How clear is that? Not very. If you Google Image the color you get a broad palette of colors looking like this:
Confusion aside, its surprising how many people ask for dress shirts in this color. There are a few things you should know. 
  1. It could be a cool idea--cool, different, unique. Helping you stand out in a style all your own.
  2. This is a tough color with most people's skin tones. Since there are several opinions out there on what color ecru actually is, get professional help and try out a lot of shades against your skin before committing. 
  3. Don't use this for weddings or another event where several guys will be photographed together in this color. It can just end up looking....dirty. Off. You get the idea.
Now that I've made you fully skeptical, I did happen to come across two different celebs this week who rocked an ecru shirt and wore it well!
Aaron Rodgers at the NFL awards ceremony.

Channing Tatum with Rachel McAdams at their movie premier.
Do you like the "not quite white" color of ecru or is it just not quite right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rethink Your Jean Jacket

With the return of the 80's, its only natural that we would be seeing more of the denim jacket. But like anything, a trend never returns quite the same. And while there are certainly stylish people out there wearing their denim jacket as light outerwear, I'm finding numerous examples wear it is being used more as a layering piece--like an over shirt. This classic item resembling casual cool is even getting juxtaposed with ties and sport coats. Take a look at a few of the examples I've found. Be sure to comment below and let us know if you'll be rethinking how you wear your jean jacket!
Photo found on the great blog Street Etiquette.

Dsquared2 FW12
Photo found on the great blog The Style Blogger.

Photo found on Esquire Magazine's The Style Blog.
I realize that the fur accessory might push this over the top for most of you. Look past that to the rest of the outfit. In all of these cases, elements of casual and dress have been successfully mixed together. This will give you an effect that is conscientious and stylish in an every day look. There are clearly a million ways to layer this wardrobe staple. What's yours?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The "It" Accessory--Driving Gloves

Driving gloves are back. Big time! From the runway to Hollywood's silver screen to celebrity sightings, we're seeing them everywhere. And they're not only being worn for function, but as an accessory to an outfit. They can be classic and classy or edgy and funky, and are being worn by all ages. The following examples show the diversity of this cool "it" item.

The young Jonas Brother shows how to make this look sophisticated with a solid grey suit and a pair of classic black leather gloves.

The apropos accessory to his new movie, Drive, Ryan Gosling looks edgy and a bit bad ass with his brown gloves.

Usher leaves his wrist band casually unsnapped for an easily-tossed-off-high-style effect.

Where can I find this fabulous accessory, you ask? The classic glove is easy to come by, but try one of these three if you're looking for something a bit unique.

Leather is expected, so go for this pair with a mix of cotton and leather by Dents for a bit of a twist. 

If you are really looking for something edgy, add the fingerless feature into the mix! Marc Jacobs nails it with this pair available on

Or try this great glove from Wheelskins, available in three colors!  Deerskin Driving Gloves - Medium (Black)

Take this accessory out for a spin and see how you like it! Comment below and let us know what your driving gloves look like. Do you only wear them while driving or outside in the cold? Or do you use them as an accessory?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Camo Makes a Cameo

My most recent post featured all the upcoming trends for Fall/Winter 2012 that are hitting the runway right now. One of them was camouflage. As I mentioned in the post (which you should go back and read if you didn't), this trend has been making a slow introduction into the fashion scene for the past several seasons. But now it is here in a big way. And you don't have to wait for fall. Its here now. The men's shows at Pitti, in Italy, take all the most well dressed men in the universe and plop them in one city for a week. And as you can imagine, the street photography bloggers flock like hungry pigeons. I've been pining the blogs I follow for some great shots, and this trend came up everywhere! Sometimes obvious, sometimes very subtle. These photos are all featured by two blogs, Tommy Ton for GQ, or StreetFSN. Think camo is just for the back woods hunting folk? You're about to change your mind.....

And Jean Paul Gaultier debuted his Fall Winter 2012 collection with some great layering, including this sweater, knit with a camouflage pattern!

There is no blending in with this camo--its meant to make you stand out! Why not let camo make a cameo in your wardrobe?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fall 2012 Trend Watch--Know it for Sale Shopping!

I recently posted about strategies for the sale season. We are only a couple weeks away from those 75% off mark downs, and conveniently, the first of the Fall/Winter 2012 runway shows have just wrapped up in Milan. Meaning, you can know what trends to watch for while pining the deals that will have you at the top of your fashion game come fall! The good news is that many of the trends are a continuation from this season, and will therefore be available to find while scouring the sale piles. I've inserted links to take you back to my posts from this season on the overlapping trends, so be sure to click back and read them so you know what to look for! One thing is consistent in the trends--its time to stand out and be noticed!

The absolute clear front runner for FW12 is Statement Outerwear. Find a fun pattern, loud color, luxe detail, or dramatic cut and walk the streets with confident style!
Burberry FW12

Next up in the repeat section is cozy knits! I love when a trend combines comfort and style! (This example is a little out there for most of you, but so unique I had to share!)
Versace FW12

Our third likely sale find for next season is Textured Fabrics. Leather and velvet remain strong along with patterns that provide visual texture.  This photo shows both using a patterned velvet.
Gucci FW12

Now onto the new stuff! Statement accessories are prevalent! Think textured or colored bags, leather sneakers or dress shoes with colored soles, unique driving gloves, etc. For more ideas on this trend, check out this article from WWD.
Photo by Tommy Ton

Camo details have been poking their head out for a few seasons, but haven't really caught on. Until now. Look for splashes of camo in a trench coat lining, a wallet, or on these shoes by Creative Recreation!
Creative Recreation FW12

Soft construction remains a key feature in suits and jackets. The one surprise to me was the early (in my opinion) return of dark. Blacks, blues and charcoals. As we know, color has been everywhere in every trend for a couple of seasons and its a breath of fresh air. Black has been "it" for how long? Especially in the winter months it is so nice to add a pop of bright. I don't think color is going away yet, but its dark on the horizon.....

This is only the start! Next we're off to Paris and then NY, so we will see what other trends emerge. Which Fall/Winter 2012 trend will you be keeping your eye out for this sale season?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pitti is Back!

If you were reading my blog last summer, then you already know about Pitti and the amazing inspiration it can provide. A lot of fashion bloggers are street photographers who wait outside shows like Pitti to catch models, designers, and fashionable everyday people wearing the best of the best. Pitti is THE show in menswear and it began this week. And with it, the photographs have already started circulating. I've compiled a few of my favorites so far and will give you links to numerous sources at the end of this post, in case you want to check out their other pics yourself. I hope through this that you see individuality and creativity with clothes. You'll also notice flashes of trends discussed recently on this blog, such as ethnic prints!

I'll keep posting great shots I find to our Facebook page, so if you aren't following us yet, click the Like button at the top right of the page. If you'd like to check out more great shots from this week at Pitti, check out StreetFSN, A Continuous Lean, and The Style Blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Strategizing Sale Season

Winter sale season is upon us. In no time we will be seeing those oh-so-wonderful 75% OFF! signs popping up in every window. While you can certainly let temptation and spontaneity be your guide, this is actually a great opportunity to build your wardrobe thoughtfully. There are three keys to tackling these sales like a professional shopper, and I'm going to share them with you! As with any topic in life, knowledge is power. It takes a little preparation to make these sales truly beneficial.
  1. Know your closet.
  2. Know your budget.
  3. Know your stores.
Know your closet.
Taking the time to analyze your closet before shopping each season is really important. First off, you often discover pieces you've completely forgotten about. More importantly, if you know what you have, you can choose items that will mix and match with your current wardrobe, getting you more mileage out of both the old and the new.  But the most vital information you get by taking inventory is knowing what you don't have.

You're going to make a list. Start with your basic staples. Examine them. Do they look old? Are they worn out? If so, put them at the top. This is where you invest your funds first. Then you can start thinking about trends or items you've been wanting and put them in order of importance to you.

Know your budget.
This is, of course, different for everyone, but the same principles always apply. First and foremost, buy the best quality you can afford. A few well made pieces go much farther than a closet full of cheap crap. Keep in mind, that the best quality doesn't mean the most expensive. Just because a garment label has an upscale name brand, does not mean it is better quality than a lesser known but well made line. The second principle was just mentioned above: invest in your staples first. There are 3 things I always am willing to spend money on. Good shoes, a good coat, and good jeans. Your shoes should be comfortable and versatile. Can you wear them with jeans and a button down or your suit? If you can only afford one winter coat, make it a black or charcoal wool coat that buttons, and hits at your mid thigh. This will look great with jeans, but is long enough to cover your suit or sport coat jacket if you need to dress it up. Everyone should own one pair of plain, classic straight leg jeans in a dark denim. They can easily be dressed up if needed but work with your tee and sneaks. Men should also own one staple suit and ladies should have a go-to black dress.  Once you've invested in those items you can spend the rest of your budget on the more trendy pieces.

Know your stores.
This is not obvious to everyone, but you should find two or three stores that work for you and be loyal to them. This has several benefits and is a good rule of thumb whether or not you are sale shopping. Shopping at the same store offers some automatic consistency to your closet. This is how you can get items to mix and match (unless you just have an eye for it). If your store is also a brand, such as Brooks Brothers, most of their merchandise will likely pair well together--even if one piece is new and one is a few years old. But private boutiques offer this too, as they will concentrate their buying on a specific look and consistent brands. The other benefit is that you get to know the staff. This is one thing that online shopping will never replace. A knowledgeable person in the industry, who knows your best style, fit, taste, and budget is one of your best tools in a good wardrobe. You can let them know what you have your eye on and they'll let you know when it comes in or goes on sale. They'll put you in pieces that you wouldn't have thought of yourself, but will surprise you by working into your style. And a really good sales associate will know to be honest with you and tell you when something doesn't look right. (If you are working with someone and everything you put on looks "amazing," they might not be a great person to work with.) This is extra helpful at sale time, because with sale shopping there is always a bit of a gamble involved. You have your eye on that incredible sweater but there are only two left in your size. How far down do you let it discount before snatching it up? If you wait too long, someone else might get it. If you have a relationship with a sales associate, they'll let you know when there is only one left. And finally, as far as sales go, the very best advantage to store loyalty, is that you already know your options. Chances are you've been popping once in a while throughout the season to take a gander at the offerings. So when you are in Step 1 (know your closet) you already know where you will get the items on your list and you won't waste time store hopping. Its a major time saver.

**Extra Tip** One of your regular stores should be out of your price range! You can get a high end item at 75% off for what you would pay full price at a store like Banana Republic. And then you've invested in the best quality you can afford.

There are your steps. If it still seems overwhelming, call your personal shopper (ahem). Are you loyal to any stores? We have readers around the world! Please comment below with where you live and where you shop. Maybe you will give each other some great new resources!

Happy Sale Shopping!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Splattered With Style

Attire that's been splattered with paint--or woven to look like it, is turning up everywhere! Its an interesting trend. Some pieces look well calculated and designed to allow the one donning it to basically turn into walking art. But other pieces leave you looking like you finished a project with dad in the basement and didn't have time to change before stepping out on the town. I've decided to feature a sampling of designers who found a way to keep this light hearted trend fashionable. Unless you're a mix master, use just one splattered statement piece, and stick to basics for the rest of your ensemble. You'll get noticed, but you can't take yourself too seriously in this look. Just have fun with it.
McQ subtly splatters denim.

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten

Brown's paint splattered Panama Hat

James Long's woven knit gives a splattered effect.
Check out this video of James Long's Spring Summer 2011 collection, where every garment was turned into a painted canvas.

Can you find the artist within this season or is this too avant garde for you? Maybe just the hat, or a pocket square will let you dabble with this creative look. Comment below! Will you wear this?

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