Going Sockless: Essentials
As the weather allows it and sunny days become more frequent, so does the amount of exposed ankles cruising the streets: boat shoes, espadrilles, loafers and even wingtips can’t seem to avoid bare feet in all their naked glory once the temperature rises. Lets face it: there’s more about going sockless than its unique visual appeal, it’s a statement, and one that apparently is here to stay…
However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in “no socks land” as there are a couple of downsides to be taken into account, especially when it comes to preserving your precious footwear. Walking around sans socks for a whole day puts a great deal of stress on your shoes, since they absorb your sweat which besides attracting odor-causing bacteria also degrades those sweet looking uppers. Hence, in order to minimize these potentially harmful side effects while maintaining the stylish component, you have two choices:
a) You open heartedly embrace your sock-free nature and should invest in cedar shoe trees along with a shoe deodorant and/or bacteria-free insoles. Make sure you leave the shoe trees in for at least 24h and rotate your footwear so you don’t wear the same pair twice in a row (this goes for a general rule of thumb);
b) You go proactive and purchase the so called “invisible” socks, allowing you to create the illusion of going sockless while preserving the life span of your shoes;
While I must say invisible socks do it for me, feel free to go either way. Also, and even if you’d rather sport colorful ankles than bare ones, do consider investing in shoe trees, I can’t stress it enough…
Know your wardrobe
We’ve all experienced the (not as much of a) cliché of waiting around ages for our girl friends to get ready to go out. From choosing the look, to hair and makeup, we’re facing anything from 30 min to an hour of precious wasted time. However, as menswear becomes more and more intricate and men in general become more self conscious about their image, this old cliché is bound to work both ways. If you consider the amount of combinations for mixing and matching your garments and accessories, the possibilities are endless, which along with a thorough grooming routine may place your better half for quite the wait.
Remember those pics of dapper Italians cruising the streets in complex attires, making it look utterly effortless? The much praised sprezzatura? Don’t be fooled…I remember Scott Schuman addressing this subject and reminding us common mortals that “those men spend countless hours indoors making sure everything’s perfect before leaving the house, so once they do, they don’t have to worry about a thing for the rest of the day”. No impeccable look comes from randomly throwing some pieces on, hoping they’ll magically work perfect together (it may, if you have THE perfect wardrobe). Some thought has to be put into it. So, how about when you’re on a tight schedule and only have a few minutes at your disposal to look your best? How to pull it off then?
Simple: know your wardrobe. Surely you remind certain looks you loved or pieces that go well together; when pressed for time, these are your best allies. By knowing what you have in stock by heart, you’ll be able to make it work in a matter of minutes. No doubt this task is made much easier if you keep a few basic/essential garments in your closet: a navy blazer, oxford shirt, dark slim denim and brown wingtips will look good every single time. So, do yourself a favour and spend some time getting acquainted with your garments…it’s the only way you’ll end up looking as good as this:
With the continuous flow of content coming from Firenze, Milan and Paris, it’s been challenging to actually get some time to write, and although new season’s arrivals are fast landing at the stores, I wanted to share my love for tweed with all enthusiasts of this wintery fabric. For those of you who immediately associate tweed with older, rosed cheeked gentlemen, think again…tweed has been earning its own place in current style panoramas (while having never left a few particular ones), with young men sporting them in a variety of ways and social/cultural contexts. Its superb patterns and texture make it a perfect way to add visual interest to an outfit whilst incorporating somewhat of that revivalistic statement, a play between old and new.
However, in order to successfully pull it off and give it an up to date vibe, a few aspects should be taken into account, the most crucial of which is fit, as usual. Traditional tweed jackets tend to have broad shoulders accentuated by thick shoulder pads, as well as a longer waistline hitting at the lower thigh. Add to that the general weighty, thick nature of the fabric and you end up with an awkward fitting garment. Getting an updated version from the likes of Rugby or Gant Rugger is definitely an option, as is browsing thrift stores hoping to find a suitable version. If you opt for the latter, be sure to check the inner lining for the Harry’s Tweed authentication label and bear in mind the aforementioned details in your choice, taking for granted you’ll need to pay your tailor a visit.
Afterwards, just throw it on and proudly sport one of your best sport jackets yet. Warm enough to wear it on its own, its perfect for layering it with complementing elements for that rugged final look. Also, remember this is an investment piece you’ll be able to wear even during early Spring.
Urban Menswear Myths #6
The birth of baby 7 billion was hugely hyped around the globe with media of all sorts covering the story incessantly. In a world continuously growing at such a pace, the struggle for individuality is one that takes place on all levels. As one of the ultimate forms of self expression, personal style is often a conscious statement about how one perceives himself and decides on the image to present the world. When that mental representation clashes with what is social accepted or imposed, say in a working environment, there’s an inherent repulsive reaction towards those criteria.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one with friends who hold a grudge against suiting up simply because they’re required to do so on a daily basis. While some might argue that it’s an uncomfortable attire, the most common underlying cause is the fact they feel that on top of looking like everybody else, they have been deprived of their freedom of expression and individuality. Allow me to disagree…formal doesn’t have to be boring nor make you look like a clone. Sure, you’ll be wearing a suit like many other men out there, but it’s nothing unlike sporting a pair of jeans: how many people do you come across wearing similar or even the same model as you?
With the amount of offerings in the current market, dressing up can perfectly portray your personality as much as any other look. Assuring an appropriate fit assumes a leading role, but besides it the possibilities are endless: playful inner linings, collar detailings, patterned fabrics, color combinations and last but not least accessories. All these are powerful allies when it comes to setting you apart from the rest of the pack.