Granted, I could be totally and utterly wrong with this observation, but the direct translation of runway fashion to everyday, wearable style isn’t as clean and fluent as some may lead you to believe. At best, an average gentleman’s runway interpretation can be viewed as forward-thinking and eclectic. At worst, an average gentleman’s interpretation can be viewed as atrociously affected and forced. In the case of Mr. Wade, his Versace selection of a printed floral leather jacket for his post-game news conference attire leans heavily towards forced – painfully forced in fact. Look, the problem isn’t the floral pattern, nor is it the white leather jacket, rather, it’s the marriage of both in a setting that is miles away from a runway fashion show in Milan. In all of its pretentious glory, it is the classic example of the peacock, confidently frolicking in an unnatural habitat, which happens to be said news conference, post-game in front of reporters. Given the peacockish exploits of Russell Westbrook, I would suppose this scene isn’t too unfamiliar. Nevertheless, in my humble opinion, garish runway fashion is meant to inspire and highlight certain trends in style. Looking at Wade’s jacket, perhaps, I would be inspired to incorporate a floral motif into my pocket square, necktie, or even sport shirt. But, that is as far as I can take it. A white floral leather jacket, and late at night no less? I’ll pass. So, D Wade’s leather bouquet – thumbs up or thumbs down?
With respect to a gentleman’s necktie, quiet is definitely the preferred pattern of choice. Quiet being an unassuming pattern that doesn’t detract from the elegant entirety of a gentleman’s ensemble. However, a gentleman should not hastily furrow his brow at the thought of turning up the volume, if only ever so slightly, on a few selected neckties. And no time is better than the present, as plaid is definitely hot right now. Truthfully, plaid remains a perennial classic no matter what the year, but there appears to be a focused attention towards this vibrant pattern – much more than usual. Given the season, cotton and silk options are plentiful. Investing in a few would certainly be a wise decision, as plaid would most likely never drift out of style. Now, the hard part: How does a gentleman begin to incorporate such a bold pattern into his presentation? True, it can be tricky. Nevertheless, it can be accomplished. No worries, I’m currently working on a quick and dirty guide to mastering the art of rocking the plaid necktie with confidence and style. Stay tuned.
A gentleman should not contract the services of suede during the spring and summer seasons. As a matter of fact, he is strictly forbidden from entertaining the thought. To that notion, we emphatically say: Nonsense! But, suede in the spring and summer? Why, yes my friend. Think of it as sweet & sour, or sugar & spice, or sweet & salty, or – well, you get the point. And that point is: Sometimes, opposites most certainly do attract. Marry with a pair of pressed cotton khakis or relaxed denim jeans. And if you are really feeling adventurous; rock a suede pair with one of your suits. Hey, we said opposites attract. It should be noted, I’m adventurous, but not that adventurous. Perhaps I would wear a pair with a crisp cotton suit, but that is about as far as I can take it. I just wanted to be transparent with the audience. So, check out my newest kicks – a cool pair of Florsheim wingtips – courtesy of a bonus sale at DSW. Draw the necessary inspiration and go kick it this season, and the next, in style.
So, if by chance you were pondering the thought, yes, polka dots are still popular heading into the spring and summer seasons. Caveat: Polka-dotted furnishings for gentlemen are best utilized in small, discreet dosages. Perhaps in the form of a beautiful bow-tie, some jazzy socks, or silky smooth pocket square – such as the square pictured above. Bearing an all-over polka dot pattern and a light blue center edged by a chocolate border, this Richard James pocket square retains the right amount stylish energy without being foppish. And contrary to what GQ states in their latest guide to pocket square folding, the puff and point folds are not clownish. Pocket square does not denote the strict folding of a symmetrical or an irregular square. Trust me, the fanciful puff has been around for decades, it’s not going anywhere. True, cotton pocket squares are most likely to be folded conservatively. Then again, cotton is stiffer than silk. So, just because the square fold is the flavor of the moment does not mean other folds are antiquated. But I digress, the playfulness of this Richard James requires a whimsical toss in the breast pocket, because polka dots are, of course, playful. And with the weather warming up appropriately, this gentleman is all about play. Boom!
Woe to the gentleman that employs the exclusive services of black or navy hosiery – perhaps even both. Well, rejoice my friend! The time has arrived for the gentleman to emancipate himself from the dark, brooding hosiery that grant coverage for the feet and ankles. It’s time to put some spring in your step. Gentlemen’s Standard Approved: Brighter and more courageous socks are now totally safe to wear. Trust me on this one gents. Rocking a pair of colorfully patterned socks is an inexpensive method of injecting some personality into your presentation. And personality – the good, vivacious kind – is certainly endorsed here. So, over the course of the past few months, I have steadily procured of modest collection of spry socks for the spring and summer seasons. I wanted to share a few pictures, and hopefully you will be inspired to take the plunge and proceed forth in purchasing a cool variety of your own.
Resistance is futile. The inevitability of persuasive assimilation is real. So, please accept my humble concession. In the face of my apparent, transparent condemnation for fashioned camouflage, I am finally forced to acknowledge a perfectly executed offering of camouflaged style. And that would be the mirror-like, impossibly polished whole-cut oxfords you see at the top. This is one slick pair of dress shoes. Can we even call them dress shoes? It doesn’t matter, the wearer of these bad boys – I don’t know whom manufactures them – can call them whatever the heck they want. No arguments from this peanut gallery.
In a slight continuation from the last post, I present another pocket square selection from my collection. Now generally, my sartorial tastes lean heavily towards the conservative side of the aisle, even though my political beliefs are decidedly liberal. But that aside, my personal wardrobe is a reflection of stylish convention and moderation. I never get too crazy. Nevertheless, on certain occasions, a fashionable furnishing will attract my attention, such as the Eton pocket square pictured above. The soft burgundy square beautifully edges with contrasting white border, rakishly dotted with a naughty skull & crossbones motif, possessed the precise amount of bad boy charm that could add a jazzy jolt to my otherwise tame closet. I scooped this silk square, along with another version in deep ocean blue, from Esquire’s CLAD e-commerce site before it shuttered its door. It was on a deep discount, so I took a chance. If you are a relatively conservative gentleman such as myself, adding a few unconventional pieces to your stock is an easy way to keep your look fresh, interesting, and appealing. It could be a bright pair of socks, an ambitiously patterned shirt, or a ballsy pocket square. Whatever the case may be, give it a try, you just might surprise yourself with the results.
If you have been consistently following this blog for an extended period of time; the fact that I hold a distinct affinity for the venerable pocket square is not lost on you. With comparison to other stylish accoutrements in a gentleman’s repertoire, the pocket square is a relatively inexpensive accessory that can add a bold hint of flavor to an outfit. Always ready to expand my collection, I ordered this woolen wonder from Suit Supply back during the dog days of winter. Sure, the current forecast is begging for the trusted companionship of cotton, linen, or perhaps a delicate blend of both. Nevertheless, pocket squares are not required to adhere to the strict rigidity of weather dictated style. Therefore, this light and airy piece of woven cloth will remain in rotation, even though sunny days are on the way. Punctuated with a repeating medallion pattern, the charming combination of olive-green and burnt orange is certainly a winner – no matter what the temperature is outside.
Just in time for spring, I can now open my shoebox containing my Florsheim by Duckie Brown suede saddle shoes. I was able to get my hands on this pair last autumn, as they were on sale for a killer price. However, as soon as they arrived on my doorstep, so did Old Man Winter. No worries, I kept these beauties tucked under the bed until the time was weather appropriate. And with 50 degree weather on the way, I can safely announce that winter is finally going on its seasonal hiatus. Oh the joy.
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Behold, in all of its complex pageantry – The Eldredge Knot. This peculiar knot has leisurely traveled the Internet circuit over the last few months – perhaps even longer; impressing a great deal of forward-thinking gentlemen and equally confounding a multitude of others. The opinion: a dazzling exhibition of creative artistry; or an undesirable, trendy display that is unequivocally hideous. Whatever side you fall on, the Eldredge knot is certainly a conversation starter. So, what are my personal thoughts on this seemingly complex knot? Well…
- The Eldredge knot is unnecessarily complicated. Sure, I’ve read that once you learn the knotting process that it is simple. But the diagram I viewed revealed at least 15 steps to achieve the desired result. I can knot a Four-In-Hand or Half-Windsor in far less. And while I am not standing before a mirror for an exorbitant amount of time, knotting my neckties the old-fashioned way does require a meticulous hand to achieve a nice dimple and correct length. So, why would I want to tack on an extra 10 minutes to my routine?
- The knotting process itself can be brutal on a necktie. Sure, your necktie could be comprised of the finest material that can withstand the beating. But why would I want to subject one of my finest neckties to a sadistic ritual of continuous twists and wraps?
- Simply stated: The necktie looks like it has been knotted backwards.
- And I am not sure how this knot performs if the necktie is patterned. The presentation just doesn’t look clean.
- However, I can see how this can work in the trendy world. Alas, that is not a world I live in. This knot is simply not functional for my lifestyle, which compared to some, could be considered boring.
- Besides, I am far from a flashy gentleman. And this knot screams look-at-me. Remember: Beware the peacock. If I want to stand out, I will do so through a deft execution of color, pattern, and fabric coordination. This just seems like a gimmick.
However, to each his own. If this looks like a fun knot to you, and you want a challenge, then go right ahead my friend and tie one one. I just won’t be in that collective rocking it with you. So, what say the gentlemen, thumbs up or thumbs down?
Without a doubt, there arrives a time when a gentleman just wants to kick back. No big meetings that beg your attendance. No dinner galas that require your presence. The only thing that beckons your audience is lazy relaxation. Maybe a few cookouts. Perhaps an excursion to a beach, a park, or wherever the day takes you – you could venture no farther than your couch. And that is okay. Nevertheless, whatever you decide, you still need to track time. Last week, one of my contacts reached out and sent me an array of jazzy, colorful timepieces just in time for spring, all courtesy of Timex. Now, my experience with Timex has been pleasant. They are a trusty and reliable source of time tracking. So, I wanted to share a few pictures from their new spring collection. All the watches pictured here clock in (pun intended) at less than $75.00, and in some cases, less than $50.00. And as a bonus, the Weekender editions have straps that can be interchanged with other bright straps that fancy your mood – watch out now (corny pun intended again)! For more purchasing information, please visit Timex for details.
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Simply stated – this works. And it works extremely well. I love when gentlemen venture outside the safe confines of the proverbial paint-by-the-numbers, sartorial box. However, please note, such experimentation should be executed in a sophisticated and classy manner. When creative, stylish thought is tempered by intelligent practicality; the reward can be a gorgeous portrait of stunning elegance – as evidenced by the deft coordination above. The slightly aggressive powdery brown check. The mildly coarse mossy green hue. All brought together on a calming canvas of white. Note: If your jacket bears an assertive pattern like this bullish check, a solid necktie (with slight hint of texture) is probably the best partner to introduce into the equation. However, a necktie with a discreet pattern could work as well. So, take a studied look, draw the necessary inspiration, and dress accordingly gentlemen.
Trust me, I fully appreciate the forward attention that has been afforded to the newly styled, contemporary gentleman – we deserve it. After a decade or so of being woefully neglected and blatantly ignored; the industry has decided to offer a myriad of natty and stylish options for our disposal. And for the most part, gentlemen everywhere have readily seized upon the opportunities. However, some have enthusiastically dove overboard. Delicately dancing on the margins of runway fashion, a new breed of extreme dandy has emerged, peacocking and primming for all to see. Gentlemen – and I say this with love – please cease and desist with the wild, gaudy pageantry that desperately screams for attention. Look, I get it, style is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but when I saw GQ endorsing a puffer vest being worn over a suit, I thought to myself that enough is enough. I even spotted a gentleman rocking high heels with a suit. What is that all about?
It just seems that men are throwing a wild variety of sartorial elements together and hoping to become that next Internet style sensation. Sometimes, it works. However, sometimes, it just looks silly. Listen, broadening your color palette is happily encouraged. Experimenting with varying fabrics is resolutely endorsed. Coordinating different patterns is roundly supported. Nevertheless, wearing an orange parka over a black tuxedo jacket with gray pinstripe trousers – all in the name style – is just lunacy. I’m not trying to be judgmental, and exhibiting pompous conceit is certainly not my intention. My only motive: preventing some wayward soul, thumbing through various magazines or scouring the Internet in search of sartorial inspiration, from looking like an utter fool. Throwing together a hodgepodge of expensive items doesn’t make you stylish, and raiding the neighborhood thrift store doesn’t automatically make you creative. Dressing should be organic, never forced. Remember that next time when you rock those wingtips with your overalls and fedora.
Alas, my foolishly misguided crusade against the imminent reign of camouflage has been suppressed, well, at least for the time being. For it seems that every time I open a monthly publication dedicated to style, or arrive upon a manufacturer’s fresh inventory of spring merchandise by way of the Internet, I am greeted by unapologetic visuals of camouflage. And this is quite peculiar, given that a distinct characteristic of camouflage is stealth and disguise. Needless to say, the push for this trend is growing in strength as designers and advertisers are flooding the shelves with this sartorially pert pattern. So, let us assume that you have relented and allowed the passage of camouflage into your closet. Well, if you are seeking to make a statement, Suit Supply has been kind enough to supply you with the proper accoutrement to accomplish that objective – the camouflage monk strap. You cannot get anymore brazen than this. The rakish charm of the monk, combined with its unmistakable skin makes for one bold set of kicks. Again, not my preference, but for a gentleman that wants to add a kick to his khaki suit or cotton trousers, this pair of monks could be for you. Just no complaints when its popularity wanes – hey, we’re trying to warn you here. Shop responsibly friend.
I will readily submit, it is probably painfully premature for most gentlemen to concern themselves with spring attire. My friends in Houghton, Michigan are getting buried beneath a metric ton of snow as we speak. And bravo to Michigan Technological University for canceling classes for two consecutive days, which is an extreme rarity for students. But I digress, it does not hurt to appreciate the exquisite beauty of a fine spring necktie to lift the spirits. So gentlemen, you need not worry for too long, spring is on the way. I promise – really. So, let’s take a look at a beautiful necktie that is sure to provide a needed jolt to your attire. Because, and we are positive with the following assumption, you have most likely drudged around all winter with somber hues carefully draped around your neck. Good news friend; emancipation is on the way. So, what makes this necktie the great liberator? Well, for one, it arrives in a jaunty gingham pattern. And two, it’s woven with 100% cotton. Both are certainly not your customary winter staples. Here is how it should be worn…