Selectism recently published an interview with Sergei Sviatchenko, the brilliant mind behind one of my (if not THE) favourite blogs of the moment: Close Up and Private. Recently named Denmark’s best dressed man, this arquitect/artist provides some of the most insightful and refreshing takes on men’s blogging out there, by means of outstanding, yet beautifully simplistic pictures of his son, intertwined with color blocks and unrelated appealing images. This makes for a whole new experience, resembling that of an art exhibit or installation, all while throwing amazing outfits at you, one after the other. If you have yet to visit his website, do so now!
Here’s how he sees it:
"The idea is, with my knowledge, with my style, how I understand it, I mix the clothes exactly the same way as I do my collages. So the combination works in the same way a stylist would work with the clothes.
"When I put them on Erik, my 19 year old son, it’s suddenly extremely twisted."
This month’s edition of PARQ Magazine has just come out and I’m pleased to announce that it includes an article written by me. PARQ is a free Portuguese magazine, focused on a variety of subjects which include architecture, design, music, fashion and lifestyle. With 20 000 monthly copies distributed at select venues, it has definitely been on the spotlight in what regards the market of gratuitous publications.
The post relates to the A/W 2012 event promoted by Wolke Bos, a collective of young national designers aimed at expressing their unique take on fashion through seasonal runway shows.
I have to thank the guys over @ PARQ for the opportunity and keep an eye out as future collaborations are on the way!
Scans from the the magazine
Some of the creations. Visit their FB page for more photos of the event.
Men should have a few footwear alternative in their wardrobes. If you give it some thought, there aren’t that many (trully) essential shoe models one must own. Without getting too comprehensive on that matter (it’s been covered here), I’ve been feeling an urge to go on about one in particular: the Loafer.
The reason? I believe it to be the most misinterpreted of the pack: I’m growing tired of the ill tailored suit/loafer combination: unfortunately, it seems that sporting a baggy suit with full break pants and the traditional black penny loafer, is the way to go for about 90% of the working male population whose job require them to suit up…Loafers are, in essence, casual footwear. Referred by many as the grown man sneaker, they have been around for ages, becoming a staple of men’s fashion especially for the preppy enthusiasts. Although they are indeed a step up from sneakers, allowing for a more put together ensemble, these are usually not suit appropriate and are best paired with rolled up pants and no socks; in fact, they’re the perfect complement for the look.
However, as with everything in life there are exceptions to the “rule”, which, in this case, relate to the loafer itself, the suit and the environment you’re in. Although a suit usually calls for a more formal shoe such as an oxford, brogue or monk (one that covers your foot), pulling it off with loafers is doable.
If you’re going to try it, the first thing to take into account is the variety of models (penny, tasseled, etc) and leathers available, which grant them several degrees of “formality” within their casual spectrum. Following this, you’ll want to make sure your suit has that perfect slim silhouette and that your pants allow little to no break, whether you have them cuffed or not. Finally, consider where you’re going to wear it: casual settings allow you to go sockless, whereas working environments don’t.
One of the main concerns amongst IPAD owners (after raising the money to purchase it), is finding an efficient, yet stylish, protective case. Providing an eased and relaxed consciousness for IPAD users has become a major business, spawning the appearance of several models from high end labels to independent designers.
Among the variety of fabrics, materials and shapes, one that definitely hit a soft spot for me was the Kork case. As the name states, the case is made entirely out of natural cork, which besides being extremely light is perfect for absorbing impacts and keeping the Pad’s temperature low. On top of that, APRODUKT (the Portugal based company behind the project) uses recycled natural cork making it one of the most environmentally friendly products on the market; also, in the odd chance that you ever grow tired of it, the case is 100% recyclable.
Although these technical details are important to some, they would be rendered seamless without the visual appeal, which, lets face it, is downright great. Add to that the affordable price tag and you end up with a great option for your beloved touch pad.
My post about the “berbere” belt was just selected for this week’s Links à La Mode! It’s great to be recognized by such a relevant network of bloggers as the IFB. Keep following and enjoy all the other posts!
As I was selecting my posts for this weeks Links A La Mode, I realized how important it is to have attractive and original images in your posts. I noticed that I would open a post and close it promptly if the images looked rather….. what’s the word… meh.
Here is how to have your blog posts chosen by me [Denimology] for LALM:
Images Are The Main Course — A great image will draw in your reader. The image might be beautiful, odd, heartwarming, instructive or just curiosity-provoking, so long as it keeps the reader wanting to read your post.
Don’t Forget To Use an Image — It’s better to use a generic image than no image at all but ultimately your image should represent what the subject of your post is about.
High Quality Images Are Best — We’ve all heard the saying “Pictures speak a thousand words”, but in the blogging world they speak even more. Adding HQ pictures to a blog post will visually stimulate your readers and help them identify with you, the writer.
Resize Your Images — While images can make your blog looked polished and professional, having images that hang over into the margins or that are cut off is sloppy blogging.
Links à la Mode: May 19th
And She Loved: How to DIY more— list of resources for DIY projects and ideas
One of the crucial aspects which sets us apart from other species, is the ability to develop rational thinking: when faced with a problem we are able to analyze it, and by means of our intellect and imagination, come up with a solution. It is this gift that allows us to create new objects and discover alternative uses for pre-existing ones.
Fashion, as a breeding ground for overly sensitive, creative and bright individuals, namely designers, is the perfect subject to put our aforementioned abilities to good use. It comes to no surprise that (some of the best) designers were able to incorporate materials and objects from our everyday lives into their creations, further setting in stone fashion’s recognition as an art form.
Sure, most designers are exceptionally creative, but make no mistake, the ability to push boundaries resides in us all. Some of the most impressively stylish people can be found while walking down the street; surely you’ve come across dapper men and women whose personal sense of style led them to unique interpretations of common items:
Now, I’m not unconditionally supporting all of the choices pictured above (as some are a bit over the top), but some DO work and with astonishing results. The lesson to learn here is: let your creativity run wild, with no restraints, take risks… and enjoy finding your own fresh take on fashion and style.
For the final entry of the series I’ll focus on the vintage handcrafted patchwork “berbere” belt. The first thing that caught my eye was the variety of colors and detailing: if you thought the tunic was a bold piece, this one definitely takes the crown. The thing is, being an accessory, it has a much smaller impact on the overall ensemble, making it easier to pull off. As belts are usually perceived as a finishing touch or embellishment, they pose the perfect opportunity to add a splash of color and boldness to an outfit; even if you’re wearing a suit, don’t be afraid to tone it down a bit.
Due to its length and marked creases at distinct parts, it’s likely that the original owner wore it tied up at the front or side, letting the long ends drape over the leg. Although this is a great look, here I went for a more usual approach, doubling it through the belt loops and incorporating it into a casual, weekend appropriate look: trim navy bomber jacket, crisp white shirt, slim dark blue jeans, boat shoes and messenger bag. As the belt is a such a bold statement piece by itself, the best way to make it work is to balance the rest of the look, avoiding strong shades or patterns, so as not to go overboard.
Slim navy bomber jacket by Lacoste, white dress shirt by ACNE, dark blue jeans by Levi’s (511 slim - tailored), vintage patchwork moroccan belt, light brown crepe sole boat shoes by Buttero and brown canvas messenger by Zara.
Savage Beauty. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard the paradoxically exquisite title of the Alexander McQueen exhibit currently mesmerizing the fashion world and the blogosphere. I mention it for two reasons. First, a couple bloggers in this week’s roundup show you the exhibit in New York—as well as a satellite version in London—through their own lenses. So if you didn’t know about it, check out their posts and resurrect your fashion cred.
Savage Blogging. Now that’s my title, and while it was inspired by the McQueen exhibit, it also characterizes the approach many bloggers take, as well as entries this week that speak to the issue. Want to be haute stuff in the blog world, like The Sartorialist? Think it’s all a numbers game? Well, I certainly hope not. That is savage blogging: when your objective ceases to be the art of it, the connection, and you are devoured by an obsession with your numbers. When you get so big that you forget you used to be a nobody until fellow bloggers read your blog and lifted you up. When you stop conversing, and simply become a talking head. With a camera. No thanks.
As blogging and social media mature, many are finally realizing what my mama told me years ago: You get more flies with honey. Don’t be savage bloggers, loves. When you give and interact genuinely, your star will shine, I promise you. Your numbers will grow, and people won’t write you any “open letters” to remind you that you’ve gotten a little too big for your britches. Honey, honeybuns. Got it?
Similarly to what happened last season, Wrong Weather once again invited me to put up 3 looks using their pieces, this time for Spring Summer 11. Drawing upon Summery inspiration, I set out to deliver three different, yet somewhat related ensembles, which would transpire my personal aesthetic into WW’s universe.
The first look is the most relaxed and season inspired of the bunch, pairing two Summer staples: shorts and a short sleeve shirt. This was all about having fun with color and mixing patterns, which due to the different scales and complementing shades blend perfectly together (checks on the shirt and stripes on the shorts and belt). The second look is focused on the striped navy motif and the splash of color given by the desert boots; the tote screamed Summer to me and is a great way to carry your stuff around town. The final attire is a step up, something you could wear to work (depending on your area of expertise, of course) or a night out. Buttoning up in hot days is perfectly doable, but here I went for a slightly more casual feel, leaving the top button unbuttoned and making use of the military tuck. Although he’s wearing a tie, the overall ensemble just seems Summer appropriate.
I’m really excited with the end result and by being able to share it with you. All pieces are available for purchase here.
1 - Checked short sleeve shirt, striped seersucker shorts and navy canvas backpack by A.P.C., navy canvas lace-ups by Common Projects and tie-belt by Dries van Noten
2 - Navy striped long sleeve shirt by Comme des Garçons Shirt, navy cotton chinos by A.P.C., mustard yellow desert boots by Armando Cabral and striped tote bag by Opening Cerimony
3 - Light blue dress shirt by Wrong Weather, raw dark blue denim by A.P.C., navy crewneck sweater by A.P.C., brown wooven sandals by Armando Cabral, brown recycled leather belt by Daniel Dinis and ecru striped tie by Dries Van Noten.
One of the most important decisions when purchasing any type of bottoms concerns hems. Following the main event, so to say, which consists in finding a pair that suits your liking regarding cut, fabric, color or wash, comes the stage of minor (or not) necessary alterations. Unless you’re buying made to measure trousers, you’ll most likely need to have them tailored: at the very least, lengthwise. We all try to find that “perfect pair”, but these kind of tweaks are usually required and “predicted” by manufacturers (slacks are usually offered without hems and jeans have extra fabric at the bottom).
Besides the initial cuffed/uncuffed dillema, one must decide on the suitable length and amount of break - regarding slacks, I prefer them cuffed, with little to no break - but when it comes to more casual alternatives such as chinos or jeans, I find this to be one of the toughest calls one has to make. Especially since your choice feels much more final and irreversible than with slacks, where usually hems safeguard about 3cm of fabric on the inside or you can simply uncuff them for the extra length; if you choose to crop your jeans and have the original hem sewed in, there’s no extra fabric there, which means no margin for error.
I hadn’t purchased jeans in a while, but recently I got a couple of bold colored ones and found myself struggling with this issue. As with every choice you make, you should weigh the pros and cons prior to your decision; here are a few things to consider:
1 - Roll or no roll
Deciding on whether or not you’ll want to roll them up, is a great way to help you get going. No matter the way you like to roll them, doing so will require extra fabric; the amount will depend on how high you want the roll to sit. If you’re going to sport this look play it safe and leave them a bit longer;
2 - Have them taken in
If you’re considering highly cropped jeans, at the ankle for instance, take into account that that is the slimmest part of your leg. So, if you take a pair of straight leg jeans and crop them at the ankle line, you’ll end up with bell bottoms. That being said, consider taking them in 1cm or so from the shin down;
Some jeans will feature factory made hems which tailors/seamstresses cannot reproduce; they can, instead, reattach them at your desired height. This allows you to preserve the original aesthetic and integrity of your jeans, but will be pricier than a regular hem and you won’t have any extra fabric left;
Original hem (left) vs regular hem (right)
4 - The right shoes
If you’re going for a more traditional look, with the jeans covering a part of your shoe, make sure you’re wearing a bulkier model (such as a brogue) when you have them marked. This is most important for slacks but also applies to denim;
Being sure about the end result is a lot different than having a brainstorm of ideas which you won’t be able to accurately express to your tailor/seamstress. Do some research, check out streetstyle blogs or websites and know for sure; you might even show them a pic of what you’re after;
Hey, I wrote in awhile back asking about your Gucci watch and I think you said you needed to check the box to see what model it is. Just wanted to see if you'd had any luck. Thanks!
Hi! I’m sorry for the late reply, but rest assured I haven’t forgotten about you. I asked my father to track down the original box but he had no luck :/ As I mentioned before, he had it for quite some time so I believe it may no longer be in production. I can send you some pics by email so you can contact Gucci about it if you’d like. Either way I’ll try to find a few similar current models and post them here.
Apart from the main elements which comprise an ensemble, one of the most essential add-ons is definitely shades. They are one of the few accessories whose design is as relevant as functionality: sunglasses not only enhance your aesthetic, they also protect your eyes from harmful sunlight. In fact, chances are you’ve grown so accustomed to them that no matter the time of the year, you won’t leave the house without a pair.
When it comes to models, we’ve been experiencing somewhat of a revival moment, with many of the successful models of old making a strong comeback (you need only take a look at Ray Ban’s latest reissues of the Wayfarer, Aviators and Clubmaster). One of the trends which seems to be picking up is that of round shades à La John Lennon.
Although eyewear should be picked according to one’s face, to ensure adequate framing, if you’re lucky enough to look good in these, you should definitely pull them off. I would advise on going for the originals, trying to snab a pair off Ebay or thrift stores, but for those of you who prefer them new, here are a few options…
As I’ve mentioned before, despite the amount of gadgets and information channels available to us nowadays, there’s something special when you actually write something, instead of relying in said channels.
If you think about it, most major decision making moments require you to express your consent in writing. When you put your signature on any given document, it carries a whole significance that no other digital counterpart can replicate. Curious, how in a world run by computers and the Internet, where millions of euros are constantly being moved around online, writing your name in paper still remains, to this day, the ultimate way to do business.
My point? Trust me, when the time comes for you to pull out your pen, a plastic BIC or freebie medical propaganda rollerball, isn’t the kind you want to show your clients or business associates. As with so many other pieces or accessories, your choices affect the image you portray; some will notice it right off the bat while others will unconsciously perceive it. Now, I’m not saying you need the most exquisite or expensive pen on the market, but investing in a beautiful quality alternative is definitely worth it: it shows you care, pay attention to details and most importantly, that you mean business.
If you’re thinking this only applies to successful entrepreneurs and there’s really no reason for you to own a nice pen, think twice: whatever your line of work is, you’re bound to interact with clients, suppliers, colleagues, you name it. At some time or another, you’ll likely jot something down, even if it’s just additional info on your business card…
I’ll leave you with a few interesting alternatives:
When you visit a fashion blog you often see a stylish blogger posing in a perfectly, put together outfit with gorgeous scenery. What you don’t see is the work that goes into curating and maintaining a fashion blog. This week the theme across IFB was outfit posts: what deems an outfit worthy, what goes into creating a stunning visual post and ultimately the comments (some not so nice) that we receive as style bloggers. Ultimately, blogging is a way to express our love for fashion and personal style but as this week’s links can attest to, there is much more to fashion blogging than meets the eye.
One of the latest additions to the Bombarda area, is a much needed vintage shop. Populating this ever growing, trendy block, Trash Vintage is yet another step forward in the slow introduction of vintage to Porto’s shopping scene. Continuing the flow of pro pre-owned clothing initiatives, such as Spot’s Fleamarket and other small boutiques, the store presents a carefully curated selection of both menswear and womenswear alternatives.
The family run business takes its pick mostly from the Portuguese market, but Paris and London also make the cut as far as providing interesting pieces. The premise behind it all is delivering unique, unpretentious garments to those who truly appreciate this universe: they believe that for an item to be special, it doesn’t need to carry a specific label…not to say that vintage Chanel or Dior wouldn’t be welcomed, but they don’t obsess about it. Also, it’s worth mentioning that their prices are vintage appropriate, in the 5-20€ range, unlike other overpriced establishments.
One of the best things about these stores is the element of surprise: you never know what you might come across and it’s exactly what makes them so appealing. Just don’t go in hoping to build a wardrobe; instead, think of those items as complements to your everyday attire, allowing you to raise the bar and make it one of a kind.
Next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by!
PS: I couldn’t leave empty handed, so I copped a great multicolored striped tie for my collection.
Bombarda Shopping Center, store 25, Miguel Bombarda Street, Porto.
I must say I’m one of those persons who suffers with low temperatures…As I’ve stated before, amongst my Winter essentials you’ll always find a pair of gloves and a cap. In fact, gloves are one of those items which have slowly grown on me during the past few years…I’ve come to appreciate their elegance and the complementing effect they have on an outfit.
One of the models which has seen an increasing burst in popularity is definitely the driving glove. As the name states, this variety was originally used by race car drivers as a means to protect the hands and increase grip on the steering wheel. Also available in fingerless versions, the driving glove is easily recognizable by its distinct features: perforated leather for extra breathability, open sockets on knuckles and back, and an adjustable snap fastening, which besides securing the glove in place, would originally adapt to the driver’s chronograph, ensuring a clear view.
The thing about this type of gloves is that they may seem a bit too pretentious if you’re caught anywhere else but coming off of your ride…However, when your hands are not at risk of freezing and with the current amount of touch operated gadgets (Ipad, Iphone, tablets and don’t forget cameras), they might prove to be a valuable option.
On this entry I’ll leave you with a few pics of the embroidered tunic I mentioned earlier. When I asked my brother to keep an eye out for them, I must say I had envisioned something different: a basic tunic in solid colors whose hemline would sit at the thighs, allowing for interesting plays with length. The thing about creating expectations and visual images in our minds, is that the element of surprise may backfire when the time comes.
Thankfully this wasn’t the case: besides knowing me well, my brother also has great taste. He got me an olive green cotton tunic with orange embroidered detailing on the front: definitely a bold piece. However, it poses the perfect opportunity to add visual interest to a look, by mixing vibrant colors and unusual design.
The minute I laid my eyes on it, I immediately pictured it paired with a shirt, blazer or even a tie. What I love about these pieces is that they’re usually a great way to make you think outside the box, challenging you to develop your creative side and come up with ways to make them work. Here, I used it as an overshirt, trying to oppose its relaxed nature with a more put together look: it’s amazing how a classic combo of khaki pants, white shirt and loafers is given a whole new life.
Olive green Moroccan tunic, white slim fit dress shirt by Paul Smith (S), khaki cotton trousers by Osklen (tailored - 40), brown distressed penny loafers by Lottusse (8.5), vintage braided belt, watch by Gucci.
I’m a strong supporter of investing in timeless, classic pieces, which will last you a lifetime and are easily paired to form outstanding outfits. However, sometimes, adding a fresh twist to your look feels invigorating and just…right. An interesting, out of the ordinary way to raise the bar for a look, is by throwing ethnical items into the mix.
The thing about them is that they immediately catch your eye: I love gazing into these additions as they definitely set an outfit apart, breaking down that “off the rack” impression. How can I put it… they add background to your attire, it’s almost as if they have a story behind them, one that people will want to know; for me, they relate to vintage pieces in this way. I’m a sucker for the concept of collecting said items during my travels and wearing them proudly, reminiscing past journeys, places and people.
The trick when incorporating ethnic pieces is balance. If you go overboard it might look awkward and like you’re trying too much…on the other hand, the right piece might bring that special something into the picture. Perhaps the best way to get familiar with the concept is by starting with accessories: take a look at Joshua Kissi’s and Travis Gumb’s incredible collection of wrist jewelry, comprised of colorful beaded bracelets and engraved rings. Due to their scale, these pieces are hard to mess up, and even if you do, they won’t scream it to everybody else. Get it right though, and they can make a huge difference.
When you come to terms with smaller items, you might want to try something bolder, the likes of knitwear, tunics or jackets. I recently got two Moroccan pieces my brother brought back from a week long trip to the country: an ancient “berbere” belt and an embroidered tunic. Although I love them both, the belt blew me away; as for the tunic, it’s a welcome challenge to incorporate it on my daily ensemble. More on that on future posts.
A while back my good friend Miguel was going on and on about how fashion was for the wealthy and the myth of an affordable version of it. Designer clothes are indeed expensive: be it due to the materials used, craftsmanship involved, branding or simply the exclusive status they provide to those who wear them.
However, with all the available offerings out there, be them low cost garments, local brands/artisans or the vintage universe, all you need to pull off an original and appealing look “on the cheap”, is creativity.
Miguel challenged me to put up a complete look for under 200€, since he had been struggling with it. It might not be the easiest task if you try to stay away from a head to toe “low cost retailer” ensemble…
This whole look revolves around the vintage Lacoste Harrington Jacket. It was an amazing find at one of my favourite London’s vintage shops: Rokit. I’ve really been into pale colors lately, and this yellow shade is just perfect for Spring; the tartan lining is a great plus. Although I’m a strong supporter that guys should push the boundaries and try new things, sometimes it just feels right to stick to the classics: a basic crewneck tee, chino-like cotton trousers and timeless canvas sneakers.
Pale Yellow Vintage Harrington Jacket by Lacoste - (approx.) 50€ @ Rokit
The coming of Spring is a call for color… As brighter, sunnier days become more often, so does our urge to lighten up the mood by throwing on bolder pieces in lively shades. For me, one of the items that just screams Spring is a pair of colorful bottoms, be them chinos or slim fitting denim.
Although at first they might seem a bit too much, calling upon a “Go to Hell” attitude, these make for a perfect addition to any wardrobe, providing that much sought diversity and uniqueness to your look. The thing about color is that most men are reluctant to experience with it as it’s much safer (and easier) to stick with the basic palette of blues and black.
I say go for it, have some fun with your outfits: if you feel that trousers are too big a step to take, begin with small accessory pieces such as scarves or pocket squares and slowly move on to more expressive items. Doing so will let the concept sink in, allowing you to build your confidence and color matching skills.
I’ve been on the lookout for some bright alternatives and I came across these slim fitting jeans by Zara. Besides presenting a wide variety of shades, the fit is great as is the price tag…at €25,95 you couldn’t ask for more, especially since you might not want to splurge on a pair of jeans you won’t be using everyday. I can already picture them rolled up, paired with loafers “sans” socks, or simply cropped high above the ankle…
Tuscan brand Buttero’s SS collection has been earning some much deserved praise on the web. Aimed at delivering high-end quality footwear, this season’s focus is on their trademark vegetable tanned leathers, original recycled rubber soles and refreshing leather detailing and embellishments. From low and mid top sneakers, to boat shoes and chukkas, there’s something for everyone.
I got a chance to get hands on with some of their models over at Por Vocação and I’ve got to say these guys never cease to amaze me…
Although Spring is officially upon us, we’re still a few months aways from continuous sunny days. Even with the temperatures rising, Spring showers are well reported phenomena which call for specific garments.
Apart from the ever reliable umbrella, this time of the year is perfect for lightweight parkas or cotton trenches, whose purpose is more focused on keeping you dry rather than warm. One of the best things about these items is how easily they adapt to your outfit: as the final layers, you can effortlessly pair them with just a shirt and tie, a full suit, a blazer or a heavy knit cardigan. Given how light and thin they tend to be, they make for a great layering alternative to top your usual attire. Just bear in mind at the time of purchase, that the size and fit should reflect your needs, that is, if you’re planning to wear a blazer underneath, you might want to size up.
When it comes to this type of outerwear, I tend to favour pieces on the longer side, sitting at the hips, due to the slim silhouette and extra rain protection (for added emphasis on the silhouette, look for belted options). On this note, this waxed olive cotton parka makes for the ultimate rain attire for those pesky rainy days…Love how the shades of tan on the drawstrings, scarf and boots perfectly complement each other.
PS: I’ve been wanting to include my dog in a post for some time now, and the chance presented when she gladly entered the picture as we were shooting.
Olive waxed cotton parka by Our Legacy (M), brown v-neck cashmere/silk sweater by Massimo Dutti (M), checked shirt by Boglioli (hidden-40), jeans by Levi’s 511 slim (32 tailored), waxed leather Portuguese boots (44), vintage braided belt, camel scarf by Burberry and glasses by Prada.
Today’s post has been written by my good friend Laura Hunter-Thomas from the amazing Obsessive Coolness. I’ve been in touch with Laura for a while, as I love her deep, insightful posts, and we decided to guest post on each other’s blog. Head over to her website to check my post.
It is a well-known fact that fashion does not always cater to the less fair sex. While women worship at the (fashionably adorned, of course) alter of harem pants, jumpsuits, feathers and fur, and madcap prints, men desperately offer sacrifices to the God-please-don’t-let-my-girlfriend-ever-wear-that. There’s even a hilarious and popular blog, The Man Repeller, dedicated to the “fashion do’s and fornication don’ts” that haunt men’s nightmares.
But while we are all, in varying degrees of distress, aware of the practice of warding off hetero men with women’s one true love – fashion – what about the revenge of the men: woman repelling? Of course there are the wannabe gangster faux pas (chains – “You are not a gangster, your necklace comes from Topman, and why are you wearing women’s accessories?” – and low-hanging trousers, namely), but what about the sartorial sexual setbacks of the chic and fashionable?
In the Libido Litigation Act version 1.0, it boils down to three items often sported among the male fash pack: bow ties, v-necks and skinny jeans. Yes, a guy can look incredibly chic in all of these items, but they will, quite frankly, do nothing for your powers of attraction (probably because each gives the impression that you bat for the other side). A bow tie worn outside of a situation warranting a tuxedo screams ‘not on your team’, while v-necks and skinny jeans (both often sported by Hayden Christensen wannabes going for the rocker-chic look) both leave you in competition with your paramour (I mean really, a guy shouldn’t have skinnier legs than his love interest, or more cleavage on show).
But here’s the thing – should you care? Well, only if you’re dressing for fornication rather than fashion. If your end-of-the-night goal is to be scoring photo ops with Mr. Lagerfeld rather than sharing your bed, well then, a bow tie is practically a required uniform! If you’re reading this, you most likely are, after all, a fashionista. Embrace your calling. Go on, be a (wo)man repeller.
On a recent trip to Morocco my brother was able to bring back some amazing findings. Besides a few traditional garments (more on that on a future post), he scored a couple of outstanding hand dyed embroidered rugs, in bright red and indigo blue. The craftsmanship and detailing on these is simply amazing…
As you might’ve noticed, when it comes to shopping I’m a fan of small independent boutiques. Given the choice, they’re my go to place should the need arise to purchase a specific item.
Nowadays, however, we can’t deny that some of items available at massive franchises such as H&M or Uniqlo, are worth checking out. It’s a fact that many of the times the quality of saids items is somewhat doubtful, but if you browse them thoroughly your patience will be rewarded…as will your bank account. Let’s face it, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a privileged financial status, or you’re an outstanding shopper who carefully picks his acquisitions, building a wardrobe solely on high end clothing will pose a daunting task.
The thing is, in my opinion, women are better off in this field: the overall design and quality of womenswear at those retailers is better, making it easier for them to pull of a million dollar look with only 50€ or so. When it comes to menswear though, I find it more of a challenge to put up a great look only with such pieces, as the outcome will most likely appear a bit off, be it due to cut, fabric, shape or design. So…what about us?
Well, I believe there are a few tips to successfully score great items at these stores. First, carefully scout the place and analyze the pieces that caught your eye, don’t be afraid to touch them to get a feel of the fabric, take a look at the labels, scan the seams and stitching, and of course, try them on. Face it as a challenge, finding a needle in a haystack…Secondly, stay away from strong image statement pieces: noticed the bold striped sweater on the window? So did the other 5000 guys that entered the shop; by avoiding these pieces you drastically reduce the chances of bumping into a handful of guys wearing the same as you. Furthermore, people won’t immediately know where you shop, which as I see it, is a plus. Last, but not the least, keep an open mind and try to envision the potential of each garment; some of them will look like a whole different story after being adjusted at your tailor.
That being said, some of your best bets at these stores are accessories and understated or basic pieces which will remain anonymous, such as jeans, tees, cardigans, hoodies or shirts without striking features. Here are a few options:
I’ve praised American brand Pierrepont Hicks' neckwear before… Their passion for quality ties and bowties is visible in each and every piece, whose craftsmen gather more than 70 years of experience. Taking an innovative approach to a market saturated with offerings of all sorts, they produce some of the most detailed and refreshing pieces out there.
This season, they combine their trademark contrasting blade ties and reversible bows, with fresh summery fabrics such as linen, silk and lightweight cotton. The color palette revolves mostly around pastels, but for those of you with a love for bolder items, there’s still something in the mix to suit your liking. Also, did I mention that at 3”, their ties are the perfect width?
One of the most important aspects when it comes to knitwear, besides fabric and cut, is the shape of the collar. Among all the available options, the v-neck sweater is probably the most elegant and versatile of the bunch, being easily dressed up or down as you pair it with a tee or a shirt and tie. Make no mistake, not all V-necks are created equal, and within the spectrum you’re offered several variations: higher, lower, wider…
A higher stance V is the most common type, but I’d like to express my love for the low V-neck sweater. In colder months when layering is a necessity, and walking out the door with nothing but a shirt under your jacket will most likely turn you into a popsicle, this is one of my favourite pieces. Its lower and wider stance allows you to portray the shirt+jacket ensemble (while keeping warm) as it’s easily concealed by your outerwear. Plus, if you’re a fan of neckwear, few other pieces allow you to show just the right amount of shirt and tie, while keeping them perfectly framed.
When looking for this type of sweater I believe it’s best to go with thicker fabrics, with some shape to them, as very lightweight, thin fabrics may end up looking loose and baggy, depriving them of the elegance and framing assets. Scottish brand Lyle & Scott offers some great options in outstanding quality wools which are definitely worth checking. Here, I paired mine with a navy peacoat and a shirt+tie combination, stressing the aforementioned framing effect and drawing attention towards the tie. Also, this is the kind of Winter day when you should throw on your white jeans: sunny and freezing cold.
Navy melange peacoat by Paul Smith, greyish blue low v-neck sweater by Lyle & Scott, striped dress shirt by Carolina Herrera, white slim fitting jeans by Massimo Dutti, brown brogues by Henry James Shoes, sunglasses by Ray Ban (aviators), vintage tie, argyle socks by Calzedonia.
I have a thing for watches…without wanting to underrate the role other objects play in a man’s attire, I find the watch to be the ultimate men’s accessory.
Throughout history, and to this day, they’ve been spotted on the wrists of powerful and stylish individuals, emphasizing they’re image of confident, self assured, decided men. Not to say these traits cannot be portrayed by bare wristed men, but there’s something about a watch that just seems to accentuate them. In fact, as it’s usually the only accessory for many men, a timepiece can say much about its wearer…
For the second entry of the “Faithful Companions” series, I’ve decided to go with what is probably my favourite watch among those I own: the Rolex GMT Master II. The thing I love the most about it, is that it’s been passed on to me by my father, so on top of being an outstanding horological piece it holds a deep sentimental value. Furthermore, its aesthetic makes it an all rounder, being definitely one of the heaviest rotated pieces in my collection.
I definitely hope to carry on the tradition by passing it on to my son someday…
A while back, Wrong Weather hosted an event to commemorate the arrival of their new footwear brand: Armando Cabral. Although I was unable to attend the inauguration, I had a chance to drop by later on and get a glimpse of the newly arrived models.
Making its international debut this season (SS11), the shoe brand comes as an extension of the renowned top model’s successful career, who ignited runways for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Dries Van Noten and Dior Homme (among others).
Aimed at delivering luxury footwear for men, the focus is on high end materials, quality craftsmanship (made in Italy) and fresh, invigorating color palette and design, courtesy of Rucky Zambrano. On this first collection the range of models includes boat shoes, desert boots, loafers and a personal favourite, the woven sandal.
Ever since I can remember, Italy has been a synonym of high end fashion and impeccably dressed men and women. Hearing about Milan (e.g.) immediately takes us to fashion shows, couture, and all the associated visual imagery of outstandingly dressed figurines, the likes of those featured daily on renowned fashion websites and blogs. It comes as no surprise that the label “Made in Italy” became an assurance of quality worldwide, with many designers taking their productions to the country to reap the advantages of not only the label, but also the talent and craftsmanship of experienced professionals. However, this kind of recognition comes at a (usually steep) price…
In the quest for lower production costs, China has become a force to reckon with when it comes to the textile industry, assuming a leading role in manufacturing for several renowned brands…Once known for its extremely affordable (and somewhat inexperienced) workforce, this reality is slowly changing as a result of its major growing economy, which has forced designers to look for the best quality/cost compromise.
Thus, Portugal joins the picture, paving a strong return to the international fashion scene. With strong roots in the textile and shoe industries, Portuguese manufacturers deliver high end quality and “know how” at affordable prices, becoming the choice for brands such as Paul Smith, Neil Barrett, Our Legacy, etc. I’ve been witnessing this evolution not only by observing international brands’ positions, but also by talking to local manufacturers who have seen their exportation numbers go up the roof. More and more “Made in Portugal” is a stamp of approval for consumers, ensuring they’re purchasing outstanding items carrying an entire history of tradition and manufacturing excellence. I’m both excited and proud to see an international bet in the Portuguese market, and I can only hope that this momentum encourages the appearance of new national brands.
Next time you’re out shopping check the label, you might be surprised….
i am looking for a new bag and i wonder if you could help me with some sites where i can order online and of course you trust or think it worth to buy from. thanks
Hi! Well, when it comes to shopping I’m a bit old school…nothing beats going to a shop, seeing and getting a feel of whatever piece you’re into. That being said, there are a few websites whose offerings might be to your liking:
As I mentioned earlier, a week ago was my birthday and to commemorate it I took a day off to enjoy a little getaway…On one of the days I got a chance to visit Pontevedra, a beautiful Spanish city with rich historical heritage. The only downside was that by the time we got there they were enjoying the “siesta”, which ranges from 13:30h to 16:30h, and during which all the stores are closed. Well, I got a chance to appreciate the (other) great things in life…
For all of you with Barbour jackets or any other waxed piece of outerwear, here’s a lesson on how to bring them back to their former waterproofed glory. My waxed parka has taking a serious beating this Winter, so I’ve been on the lookout for a tutorial such as this for a while now. To top it off, they’ve thrown a bulldog in the picture, love that dog…
Wow…I’m a Links à la Mode editor…can you believe it?! So thrilled to have the opportunity to discover new blogs and compelling posts to share with all of you. That said, give me two minutes in the pulpit, and my “better blog” sermon starts welling up, totally involuntarily. So allow me a moment to share what I am looking for when I review submissions. It’s pretty simple: Be creative and original, tie your post into beauty or fashion, use proper grammar and punctuation (spellcheck and proofread before publishing), and credit your photo sources. Always.
And on to the list…bloggers were in deep thought this week, pondering ethical fashion and feminism, male gaze and Marthettes. But in case you need to escape the heavy stuff, there is: denim! Happy reading, and as you peruse and comment on this week’s posts, why stop there? For every comment you leave, why not check out the blog of the person who commented above you and comment there too? It’s a great way to expand your mind—and your readership.
As I’ve stressed several times before, one of the most interesting aspects of a look resides in the small details. Carefully mixing and blending them is a recipe for a perfect outfit, one that easily stands out in a crowd.
A great way to tweak an already great piece is adding elbow patches. Coming in a variety of colors, patterns and materials, they’re an easy and affordable way to add sophistication and visual interest to your attire. Although the blazer is probably the most common garment when it comes to this add on, you should broaden your horizons as to the full potential of these patches: sweaters, long sleeves, topcoats or cardigans all account for great alternatives.
Also, don’t be afraid to lively things up a bit by adding bold colors and textures, that’s what will add the extra flare you’re looking for. Going for different fabrics such as tweed or leather instead of being limited to the usual suede patches, is something to consider. Just bear in mind that if you opt for leather patches your items will only be washable through dry cleaning. The though part about the process is finding the right patches, applying them will be an easy and inexpensive task for your tailor or seamstress. If you want to take the easy route, just look for items which originally come with them. With their recent burst in popularity, you should have no problem finding a few suitable options.
One of the pieces I purchased a while ago is this heather grey v-neck wool/cashmere sweater by Annapurna 5+1. Besides the outstanding blended fabric, with a soft touch and slim fit, what really drew me to it were the houndstooth elbow patches. This look combines several interesting aspects: besides the layering, I love the contrast of the lighter tones of the shirt, sweater and plimsoles with the black jeans, and how the shades of green in the houndstooth perfectly complement the ones in the vest.
Charcoal heavy wool blazer by Rice, Green Eskdale vest by Barbour, heather grey v-neck cashmere/wool sweater by Annapurna 5+1, white dress shirt by Paul Smith, black slim fit jeans by H&M, white plimsoles (Musa trainer) by Paul Smith, glasses by Prada, camel scarf by Burberry and watch by Rolex.
I’m really excited to share that last week I made it on a “Top Ten Menswear Tumblrs List”, posted at Lookatme.ru. It’s definitely an honor to be up there along with all those outstanding blogs, some of which are personal favourites (Street Etiquette and How to Talk to Girls at Parties) whereas others are great newly found reads. Despite being fully written in Russian, we can always rely on good old Google Translate to catch a glimpse of the article. I’d like to thank all of you for your support!
Here are a few pics, the full piece can be found here.
PS: I would be most appreciated if someone could properly translate what is said about Beyond Fabric, as Google isn’t the most reliable tool.
Last week, while I was at Gentleman getting my herringbone overcoat measured for tailoring (expect a post once I pick it up), they were kind enough to let me go through the new SS11 Zegna Cloth Catalogue.
Zegna fabrics are known for their quality and elegance, assuming a leading role as the choice of excellence for tailors worldwide, when it comes to made to measure or bespoke garments. Their array of options is suited to cater to your every need, presenting fabrics for every occasion, all of which bear the brand’s renowned quality.
Whenever I get the chance to see and feel these types of fabrics, I get overwhelmed with ideas and enthusiasm…the turning of each page is accompanied by a constant brainstorming of potential garments in the making. I easily get sucked into that sartorial universe, becoming completely immersed in the variety of shades, patterns and textures, only to be brought back to reality when the answer to my inevitable question is given: - “a blazer will cost you around 1000€, suits start at 1500€”…
I’ve been wanting to write about my daily carry around kit for a while now, and the heads up by xgavenxwas the perfect excuse to do so…
I’ve been going on and on about how bags are a great accessory and the need men have of them, but, what exactly do we “have” to carry around on a daily basis? While the items which comprise an essential daily kit are bound to differ from one person to the next, there are a few basics everyone should have access to at any given moment.
Luckily, providing an inside scoop of my holdall is an easy task, since, as a man, I have no restrains when it comes to sharing the contents of my bag (ladies don’t hold a grudge). Bear in mind that this is what I’m carrying at the moment, and it may be adjusted according to the time of year or specific needs.
Camera (Canon G11) - since I started the blog a few months ago, it has become my most important item. I take it with me all the time as I never know what I might bump into;
Notebook - I wrote this very post on it…usually I tend to jot down ideas for posts or their draft versions, as it allows me to take some time off the screen and work at enjoyable places such as the beach, parks, etc;
Sunglasses (Rayban Aviators) - it’s interesting how dependent we get on these…can’t do without them even in Winter;
Moisturizer/lip balm - Dry hands and cracked lips are not an option;
Leather Gloves - Hate the feeling of numbness that comes with freezing hands. I take a brown or black pair according to what I’m wearing that day;
Cap/Hat - another inconvenience of lacking in the hair department, besides the immutable aesthetic and a hurt ego (at times), is that your head is exposed to cold. These will keep you warm with a stylish feel;
Business Cards - you never know who you might come across;
Pen Drive - a portable backup of my daily work;
MP3 Player - mine was a relic which just crashed last week. I’ll get an Ipod this time around;
Mini umbrella - don’t want to be caught off guard in the rain;
Supplies - bottle of water, fruit, powerbar: a light snack.
Red Wing Shoe Company has been proudly delivering reliable work footwear for more than a century now. Crafted according to the highest standards and meant to withstand the harshest on-site conditions, you’re likely to find them on the feet of workers from all sorts of industries.
It was only a matter of time until the “workwear revival movement” we have been experiencing, began showing their love for the well established brand. The truth is, whether you’re into workwear or not, Red Wing Shoes provides some of best looking boots out there which know no specific style: they’re as easily spotted on dapper Italian men as on trendy New Yorkers.