A Well-Tied Tie . . .

is the first serious step in life. –Oscar Wilde

Ties are sometimes, a necessary accessory.  But it often depends on the occasion.  What if you want to indulge a tie but find you may have some that could be deemed too formal?  Introducing the knit tie.

The knit tie history is rooted in the American “Ivy League” style dating back to the 1950’s.  The flexibility of this neck wear is something to behold.  Knit ties usually have a squared bottom unlike the standard tie.  In addition, some knit ties have the pointed bottom too but this is synonymous with the Grenadine tie. Grenadine ties can be confused as knit ties but the difference is the weave is much finer. They come in cashmere, cotton, linen, silk, wool, as well as different blends.  Knit ties are four seasons.  There is a subtle difference to keep in mind, the width of knit ties will be smaller and these are most appropriate for the Spring and Summer months.  There are wider width creations and these are best suited for the Autumn and Winter months.  The same rules apply concerning collar width of the dress/casual shirt and lapel width of the blazer, sport coat or suit.  This goes without saying but I will address it, you must remember to be color appropriate for the respective season.  There are a variety of styles as seen in the featured picture above.  Keep your color palette in mind when looking to purchase them.  Because of the material, a Four-In-Hand knot should be used.  As with all men’s fashion, the price ranges are up and down the knit tie spectrum.  They can be purchased as high as $499.99 on Ebay to as low as a .99 from Shenzhen, China also on Ebay.   I purchased all of my knit ties through Ebay ranging from $4.99 to $20.  Some second-hand and most new.  My Hackett London tie silk knit tie was my major scoreboard.  I bought it for $20, second-hand.  Their knit ties brand new price as high as $140.  The tie is flawless and I’m the one who benefits!

If you have doubts about wearing a knit tie or what to combine them with, run a Google images search or open a Pinterest account.  Be prepared to be optically overloaded with endless possibilities of dapperism.  Because this is what you want!

The focal point of Poor, Broke And Handsome is to assist you in your search for clothing that will stretch your dollar and not your stress levels.  As with anything in life, what I present to the reader is not gospel.  It’s a packing list, a guide, a map, a template, etc.  Also, it is my humble opinion.  It is entirely up to you to put in the research so you can reach your apex of what you are looking for fashion-wise.  Jal ga!

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Alfani, knit tie by Club Room, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, watch by Timex

*Supplemental picture, right: Shirt by Arrow, knit tie by Dowling Brothers, pocket square by Tome Ford, jeans by Uniqlo, shoes by Sebago  

 

A Shoe Is Not Only A Design . . .

but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes. –Christian Louboutin

As Spring slowly (or not so slowly depending where one resides) blends into Summer, dressing appropriately for any occasion becomes a challenge.  It is a challenge you embrace, indulge and conquer wholeheartedly!  The Spring/Summer seasons bring about different shoe wear.  We have boat shoes, trainers (although these are year round), loafers, driving shoes and the like.  As a person looking to create their own style, one should definitely own a pair of boat shoes, trainers and loafers.  Another style of shoe that should be up for serious consideration are suede shoes.  Suede shoes are synonymous with at least three seasons and sometimes Winter.  Personally, I love suede shoes.  I like the look, the feel and they are most certainly bring a casual angle to your overall style.  Every maker of men’s shoes has a variety of suede footwear ranging from any style of shoe to any price range.  In the picture to the right, G.H. Bass Kensington Weejuns ($43.49, I bought them on sale!) are at the top and H & M‘s cap toe double monk straps ($69.99) at the bottom.  A side not about G.H. Bass Weejuns.  The penny loafers were made famous by the late Michael Jackson and most notably in his groundbreaking Thriller video.  He was known to gravitate to various makers of shoes but the Weejuns will always have a place in pop music history.  In the photo, below left, I have a pair of Johnston & Murphy Ellington Wingtip Oxfords.  I won them on Ebay for $15.  Yes, $15!  The seller bought them at a Johnston & Murphy shop at Reagan National Airport (he left the receipt in the shoe box) and came to the conclusion he didn’t like them.  I liked them and got lucky!  These shoes normally went for roughly $130-140.  I want to drive home the point it is not necessary to purchase items at their original price point.  Research, look, find and decide.  There are times you may have no choice as in the case with the H & Ms.  They sold out twice on-line (and then permanently) and they weren’t at my local brick and mortar.  Their color is a dark taupe which is perfect for Spring/Summer/Autumn wear so in the end, it is a win-win for me.  

The one thing one will love about suede shoes is the versatility.  You can wear suede shoes with shorts and trousers alike.  Some may disagree with the idea of wearing suede monk straps with shorts but I suggest one experiment.  Try them with cargo tailored shorts and a nice polo, a button down shirt or a v-neck t-shirt.  And make sure that belt matches your shoes!  If you’re uncomfortable with monk straps, go with tassel loafers, penny loafers or oxfords.  One thing one should keep in mind is your color palette.  The standard is wearing lighter, more season-friendly colors.  This applies to the shoes too.  If one desires to refine their craft, they must practice.  This goes for creating your own style.  Do not be afraid to try different styles of suede shoes because at the end of the day, you are the one on showcase.  Until next time, jal ga!

*Featured picture: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Arrow, tie by Land’s End, pocket square by Feather And Smith, pants by Dockers, shoes by Saks 5th Avenue, watch by Invicta

*Supplemental picture: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Santostephano, pants by Dockers, shoes by Johnston & Murphy, watch by Timex

The Adornment Of The Body . . .

is a human need. I don’t see anything superficial about it unless your life becomes very materialistic.  –David LaChapelle 

During your journey in creating your own style, certain accessories bring another dimension to the potential look you desire.  Over the last few years, tasteful jewellery pieces have quietly made their way back onto men.  Bracelets or as a friend of mine called them, mancelets are another item that can make or break your outfit.  There is an endless variety to choose from.  And this is wear where the fun begins.  Donning one in conjunction with a watch, it can add a little bit of gochujang to your ensemble.  Wearing too many, as one can find throughout the world wide web, well, let me state it may work for some but I would err on the side of caution.  I am prejudiced in my tastes and by no means want the reader to embrace my standard as their own.  Guinea pig yourself!  Experiment.  Ask questions.  Observe reactions and find what suits you the best!   My standard fair is a watch and beaded bracelet on the left wrist. A Tibetan silver Buddhist cuff and a beaded or leather bracelet on the right wrist.  Other times, same as the latter and I’ll leave the watch solo.  With bracelets, it is another outlet for your personality to shine.  I am Buddhist so I have a few pieces with Buddha incorporated into the bead-work.  Now, there are high-end designers of bracelets but as the name of the blog states, you’re Poor, Broke And Handsome not, Rich, Prosperous And Handsome.  

In the picture to the left, I have fish-hook (not a makau) bracelets also known as nautical bracelets that were purchased through Ebay for under $5 each.  Miansai makes beautiful bracelets but you won’t find a bracelet under $68.  Title Of Work is another high end maker of bracelets.  Browse harujongil, day-dream then smile. If you desire a brand name, take a gander around Asos.  They sell bracelets too at a much lower price point than the aforementioned but I still suggest Ebay. And if you’re feeling artistic, why not make your own?  All of the bracelets in the featured picture were purchased through Ebay except for zodiac sign of Scorpio bracelet.  This was gifted to me by my beautiful girlfriend. ❤️

A recommendation I will pass along is wearing a certain style of bracelet according to season.  Exempli gratia, nautical theme bracelets for the late Spring throughout the Summer.   Of course, you may want that Spring/Summer feeling all year long.  The choice is yours!  Do allow your personality to shine through this outlet.  And yes, do keep in mind the color palette of your clothes but you can be much, much looser in this respect.  Remember, experiment to find, so ultimately the panache you exhibit turns every head in the room!  Until next time, Jal ga!

A Pocket Square Must Always . . .

always – be white and a bit wild.  If it is too prepared, it is tacky.  Lapo Elkann

I respectfully disagree about the pocket square always having to be white.  But, you should own at least one!  It is obvious I will be touching upon an accessory, in my humble opinion, every man should use to its full advantage-the pocket square.

The pocket square’s origins can be traced back to Egypt, the Greeks and the Romans.  Most notably, King Richard II of England was the first to use the pocket square as we (should) do in modern times.  A pocket square can make your ensemble go from nice to wow.  When one has taken the steps to have to have a solid foundation, look to accessories.  What is indispensable to creating your own style is incorporating your individualism.  Personally, when it comes to my pocket squares, I adore lots of color as well as floral patterns.  I know it comes from my Korean heritage.  I often wonder how I was dressed for my 100 day celebration, baek-il.  Once again, I digress. Pocket squares come in cotton, seersucker, silk as well as polyester blends.  When shopping for pocket squares, keep in mind the color palette of your wardrobe as far as dress shirts, causal shirts, t-shirts, and ties.  Depending on the material of your blazer, sport coat or suit jacket, this will determine the pocket square material.  In addition, the formality of the event will dictate the style you integrate as well as the fold of the pocket square you will use.  Another consideration to add is this: when wearing a tie, never match the pocket square.  There are pocket square/tie sets that can be purchased everywhere.  Avoid them like negative thoughts.  This isn’t something one has to acquiesce halfheartedly to.  You just don’t do it.  For example, if your tie has some highlights of blue contained within its respective pattern, use a pocket square that has a shade of blue that is not similar.  It also, may or may not incorporate a subtle/not so subtle pattern.  Again, be cognizant the color wheel comes into play for your entire outfit.  Now, when one is not wearing a tie, match the shirt whether it is a dress shirt, a casual shirt or a t-shirt.  A pocket square transformed me from bouncer to casual gent in roughly 5 seconds.  As far as where to purchase pocket squares, I wholeheartedly advise Ebay.  If you have been reading along, you are aware I have an on line crush on it.  I have been fortunate enough to find not one, but two vendors I recommend.  In the photo to the left, those are pocket squares sold by The SquarExtraordinaire.  They frequently run specials and are quick with their deliveries.  Those are just some of the pocket squares I have purchased.  I have paid roughly $4.50-$6.00 per square.  They are of great quality.  They have assortment of styles to choose from as well as fabrics such as seersucker, flannel, cotton, etc.  The second vendor I found is Feather And Smith  and they make their own reversible pocket squares.  They sell for $8.95 per square.  They ship quickly and are of great quality too.  I liked the style and the versatility of their pocket squares.  Having a pattern on both sides makes for a definitive conversation piece.  Although I am certain those of a conservative style will roll their collective eyes at them. But who cares?  You shouldn’t.  Remember, once you are fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.  At the end of the day, this is what you desire.  A look and a feel you are most comfortable with, confident with, and secure with.  You’re poor, broke and handsome not rich, prosperous and handsome.  At least for the interim.  Of course, this goes without saying, if you can get your hands on some high end pocket squares for a good price, do it!  You can find these gems on . . . wait for it . . . Ebay!  The Tom Ford silk pocket square in the featured picture was won for $35.50.  It is second hand and if one takes a gander at Tom Ford.com, they sell brand new $165-$195.  The Givenchy, also in the featured picture is a vintage from the early 80s. I won this one for $14.  If you like to indulge a little bit of panache with your pocket squares, Santostefano is another high end, low buy pocket square.  These list for $150 or more but you can bid or buy them outright at the Ebay vendor Frieschskys.  They are great to work with.  I had a little problem that was solved with one phone call from the vendor!  That is excellent, customer service.  As mentioned in a previous post, second hand stores and the like aren’t anything to turn your nose up at.  Locate them in your city and go spend some time there.  What are you waiting for?  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Supplemental picture, top right: Jacket by Christian Dior, shirt by Brooks Brothers, tie by Saks 5th Avenue, pocket square: Santostephano, watch by Stuhrling Original

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Merona, t-shirt by INC, pocket square: Feather And Smith

*Supplemental picture, bottom right: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani, tie by Gucci, pocket square by Santostephano, watch by Stuhrling Original, glasses by Uniqlo

 

Friendship . . .

is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” –C.S. Lewis

And this, is what will develop when one embarks on a new friendship with those two in the featured picture.  A common theme in my posts are one should take care of their clothes no matter how much one has paid or the quality of them.  Two items that will assist you are a garment steamer and an iron.  At the end of the day, one friend you do not want around is wrinkled clothing.  Wrinkled clothes are embarrassing.  Wrinkled clothes may be perceived as one not caring about their appearance.  The whole point of creating one’s style is one does care about their appearance!

A garment steamer is self-explanatory, it steams your clothing to take away wrinkles.  There is an assortment of them.  My suggestion is do your research and find one suitable for your needs.  The steamer pictured is a Conair Extreme Steam.  I paid $29.99 on Ebay for it.  The pricing varies but it is economical and it is a great piece of equipment to own.  Sometimes it is best to use a steamer because it saves on time. There is clothing that is best suited for steaming.  It is important to use distilled water only in garment steamers.

The standard iron has been destroying wrinkles (and sometimes clothing) since the beginning of time.  As with everything, products get better, more advanced and make most 20160619_071425things easier.  The iron pictured is a Rowenta Effective.  I purchased this on sale at Target for $39.99.  Rowenta has a great reputation.  As with the steamer, one will use distilled water.  Hard minerals in tap water over time, may ruin the effectiveness of the steamer and the iron.  While there are detractors concerning this, I would err on the side of caution.  Purchasing a gallon of distilled water will not put one at a deficit.  Just as you treat your clothes well, treat the equipment you use on them just as well!

In conclusion, while using a steamer should be and will be a piece of cake, ironing may be a different ballgame for the novice.  And quite frankly, every male walking under the Heaven’s sun, moon and stars should absolutely, positively know how to use an iron.  There are plenty of resources on line explaining in great detail, how to iron.  I’m not going to berate the reader if they lack the skill set to effectively iron but ask yourself a question.  What is more important?  The cute barista with the nose ring at Starbucks getting your Green Tea Crème Frappuccino up to your specs or having your clothes free of wrinkles?  Well, you can have both if you know how to iron your clothes.  Just remember to tip!  Until next time, jal ga!

 

A Respectable Appearance . . .

is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul.  Karl Lagerfield

And a nice dress/casual shirt helps too.  There are so many designers of shirts and so many different styles one can choose from you may suffer from a case of vertigo.  At the end of the day, most designers will have something you are looking for when building your wardrobe and creating your own style.  There are a few kinds of shirts one should be interested in. I’m not speaking of the classic, modern, and slim fit.   I’m speaking of tab collar, collar bar/pin and flip-cuff shirts.  The latter is of the casual flavor.

In the featured picture (also, see left), I am wearing a collar bar shirt.  Eyelets in collar accommodate a collar bar as well as a collar pin.  It is truly a classy look that will up your overall appearance.  The main idea behind the collar bar/pin is to accentuate the tie one is wearing by pushing it up from the shirt.  Its genesis is from the 1920s and has been around for many decades.  Finding collar bars and collar pins are easy.  Finding a collar bar/pin dress shirt is not as easy.  The price point is high.  I recently purchased a white one from TopMan for $70 and this is considered reasonable.  In addition, having them custom made may be the way to go which may also be pricey.  But, if you keep searching you may end up lucky as I did.  The  J. Todd dress shirt was purchased on Ebay for $16.99.  It’s a regular fit shirt but it fits like a slim.  Apparently, it was a Marshall’s, Inc. brand and it was made in South Korea (daebakiya!).  The shirt fits perfect so to say I was rather impressed is an understatement.  Also, burgundy is very versatile.

The tab collar shirt eliminates the need to wear a collar bar or a collar pin.  Also, they are easier to find!  The picture to the right is to show what one is dealing with.  On a side note, I might as well consider Ebay my go to from this point on!  I won the Robert Talbott dress shirt, brand new for $19  It is grey and has a very small checkered print.  It was a classic fit but as always, my tailor did her magic. And I basically stole the Oscar de la Renta tie for 99 cents.  Yes, 99 cents.  Robert Talbott‘s shirts range from $195-$425 on Nordstrom’s so I will not state the obvious on this one.

The next style of shirt one should add to their respective repertoire is the flip-cuff.  The flip-cuff is self-explanatory.  It’s an added dimension to one’s style.  If you are a fan of the show Modern Family, you are aware Eric Stonestreet’s character Cameron fancies the flip-cuff shirt.  Traditionalists may will find them rather unattractive and abhor them.  I do not go crazy with some of the patterns but I do like them very much.  As I wrote about in a previous post, I have a unstructured blazer with functional buttons.  Flip-cuffs solve the problem when going very, very casual.  The standard seems to be the oxford blue when flipping the cuff as seen in the picture to the left.  I own a few flip-cuff shirts such as Alexander Julian, Nautica, Van Heusen, and Calvin Klein.  I recently added an Egara, a Jhanes Barnes, and a Robert Talbott.  Egara is a Men’s Warehouse brand.  It is a slim fit, made of Egyptian cotton and I purchased it for $15 on Ebay.  The picture to the right is a Jhane Barnes slim fit flip-cuff with some avant-garde designs that was purchased for $20 on Ebay.  Although she is no longer doing menswear (her final collection was the Fall of 2013), her clothes are still out there and can be bought at a nice price.

Flip-cuffs are nice if you like to roll up your sleeves.  I rarely roll my sleeves up.  When I do, it will most likely be when I am wearing a waistcoat.  What you are searching for depends on whether you desire to go conservative or wild with the color palette, roll up your sleeves or solve the problem of functioning buttons on your unstructured blazer.  Until next time, keep doing your research and keep experimenting to find your ultimate style!  Until next time, Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jacket by Ermenegildo Zegna, tie by Manhattan, shirt by J. Todd, pocket square by Windom Finery, sunglasses by Miu Miu, watch by Movado ESQ

Culture Can Be . . .

A secret weapon that makes extraordinary things happen. –Jon Katzenbach

You may be asking, how does this relate to creating your own style?  Look at who you are culturally.  Do you see anything can use to help manifest your style?  I bet you can!

Sungkyungkwan Scandal Being Korean influences some of my style.  I regularly drop Korean lexicon into these posts.  This is who I am racially (half of me), culturally (to some degree) and I wear it proudly (as well as being Irish and Italian).  Centuries ago, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean upper class always wore beautiful clothing, material-wise and color-wise.  When I did my research,  I learned a lot about the history of Korea and as well as the development of Korean culture.  The aristocracy wore bright colors with floral and animal patterns.  The children wore bright colors too.  The common people wore muted colors.  Dancheong (단청) dominated the architecture and is characterized by the five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).  As my closest friends know, I have an affinity for pocket squares especially those that display bright colors with floral patterns.  I also love paisley which I have successfully incorporated into my style.  I also wear colors that are subdued.  The combination of these with what is modern, has afforded me the look I have been developing and what I have been told on many occasions is very appealing.  It works for me.  I’m fortunate because I am able to honestly express myself through some elements of my Korean culture.  Please always keep this in mind, your style is an expression of who you are!  You are going to gather bits and pieces from everywhere and everyone possible.  Make an assessment then assimilate what best suits you into your own foundation.  At the end of the day, you have to be the one happy with your result!

When you take the journey into your cultural background and maybe you find it may be too much to your liking, there are little things you can do to incorporate it into your style.  For example, I have a couple of pair of cuff links made by 카라빈카 쇼핑몰 that specializes in Korean gifts.  The cuff links I am wearing in the picture to the left have Hangul on them better know as Hunminjeongeum. Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443.  The design is beautiful and at the same time very significant in Korean history.  I was a history major so this subject interests me on that level too. The other pair I own is a dancheong design.  If I was hesitant of Nestea plunging into my culture, at least with these cuff links, I afford myself a starting point.  Although I have been speaking about adding elements of your respective culture into your style paradigm, don’t be afraid to add your religious beliefs, hobbies, likes, career, etc.  Again,  The key is not to go overboard.  There will be a point where it becomes too much and therefore not appealing.  Moderation is a key.  With practice, you will find that stylistic balance.  Until next time, jal ga!

*Supplemental picture, right: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani Red, pocket square by Feather And Smith, watch by Invicta 

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Croft & Barrow, shirt by Brooks Brothers, tie by MW Collection, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire 

 

Something About a Good Suit . . .

I don’t know, a good suit just, you know, you can take on, you can take on the world in a good suit, you know? –Conor McGregor

I put this blog together in an effort to help those looking to improve their overall appearance, clothing-wise without spending an arm, a leg or some other extremity.  One subject I stated in a earlier post I was going to touch upon is having a good tailor.  I have a great tailor!   Sylvia was referred to me by a friend.  You can buy top of the line clothing and if the fit is horrible, there isn’t anything in the universe that can save you except a tailor.

We have all seen the before and after pictures of a suit, a blazer or a sport coat that was transformed from well, nice try to aesthetically pleasing.  From experience, you feel the difference and what goes without saying, see the difference.  We are aware there are three kinds of fit when it comes to the aforementioned; classic, modern and slim fit.  The wonderful thing about having your tailor on speed dial or having the luxury of dropping by anytime, if you happen upon and purchase a suit, blazer or sport coat in the classic fit, your tailor will clean that mess up!

As far as the modern and slim fit go, unless your body has perfect specs for either style, you need to get them tailored!  In the following pictures, you will see a Nicole Miller slim-fit suit in black and an Alfani slim-fit suit in grey.  Nicole Miller suits are not on the website but one can find them almost everywhere on-line and at brick and mortars.  I have owned Nicole Miller clothing in the past and absolutely loved them.  For the price (I paid around $125 as suit separates at Burlington Coat Factory), you cannot go wrong.  The quality is excellent.  This isn’t a four figure suit and I am not going to wear it for maybe more than thrice a year, if that!   Alfani is a private brand of Macy’s.  Macy’s also has under its umbrella of brands: Tasso Elba, Bar III and Club Room.  I have had great luck with the fit when it comes to their Alfani performance and slim-fit dress shirts.  For the suit, also purchased as suit separates, they were on sale for a total around $210.  If I got these when they weren’t on sale, we are looking at a price tag around $650!  SCOREBOARD.  The quality is excellent!  If I had been lucky enough to find one in navy blue, well that would have been showcased here too.  I had both jackets taken in as well as had the sleeves shorten.  The Alfani pants were perfect, the Nicole Miller pants were not.

For suit pants, I wear a 33/34 inch waist and prefer a 30 inch inseam for a quarter break.  For my dress pants, I indulge a 29 inch inseam because I prefer no break.  Both styles of break, I am allowed to show off a little bit of sock as well as show off my style of shoe.  In addition, I wear flat front pants only.  Pleats are a matter of personal preference as well as body type.  If one is a bit bulky, pleats may be the way to go.  I am lucky my Korean genes afford me good great legs, hence why I wear flat front pants.

Now back to the tailor.  If you have no referrals from friends (well, are they really your friends?), do some research just as you would when searching for clothing bargains.  Ask around, talk to people, read reviews, make an assessment and pick your tailor.   Something that goes without saying but I will type it, communicate with your tailor!  Make it your pleasure to create a great relationship with him or with her.  Tell them what you are looking for.  Be receptive to input from your tailor.  This is a business partnership where both parties benefit.  When you become a regular, your tailor will take care of you and you should do the same.  If you are absolutely satisfied with their workmanship, not only tell them how happy you are, refer potential clients to them.  I make it a point to tell my friends and co-workers.  Sylvia has tailored my suits, my blazers, sport coats, dress shirts, etc.  The pants on my Nicole Miller suit had to be hemmed.  I bought the wrong length because my mind was locked on denim length.  She didn’t charge me for the hem.  It was a token of appreciation for my business and one I was thankful for.  So, what are you waiting for?  Go find that tailor who will assist you achieve your style!  Jal ga!

Blazing a Trail . . .

Is something one can literally do when when deciding the right combination of shoes, trousers, shirt and blazer.  The blazer beginnings originated with the Lady Margaret Boat Club  – founded in 1825 – at Cambridge University’s St. John’s College adopted a gentlemanly sporting jacket with which to row in, in a vivid scarlet cloth to distinguish themselves as part of a team. Thanks to the bright shade, the term ‘blazer’ evolved; not quite a suit jacket, designed as a stand alone piece that can be worn to add a dash of formality. By the time the annual Henley Royal Regatta rolled around in 1839, lavish stripes as part of the uniform had become part of the blazer’s DNA, each team’s outfits designed to be easily distinguishable from one another.  Just as lexicon over the decades has experienced a semantic drift, the blazer, one may say has experienced a fashionistic drift. 

As previously stated in my first post, Creating Your Own Style, one the of the classics every man should own is the navy blazer.  In addition, once comfortable with the navy blazer, look to expand your color palette.  For starters, search for colors that are synonymous with a particular season.  Secondly, there are materials that are most suited for these seasons.  Cotton, linen and seersucker are the go to for Spring and Summer.  Corduroy, flannel and tweed are the go to for the Autumn and Winter.  If I told you how many blazers and sport coats I owned, you probably believe there is a disorder for people like me explained in detail in the DSM-V.  For the purpose of this particular writing, I will speak of 7 blazers and 4 sport coats I purchased.  It sounds as if I spent a decent amount of currency but I didn’t.  I spent a total of $374.88.  There are 7 retail store brands, 2 (what are considered) low end brands and one high end brand in the group.  Roll call as follows:

  • Stafford Collection cotton sport coat (pink) $44.99
  • Stafford Collection cotton/linen blend sport coat (windowpane khaki) $44.99
  • Merona cotton blazer (khaki) $29.98
  • Merona cotton blazer (olive) $29.98
  • Merona cotton blazer (navy) $39.99
  • Mossimo flannel blazer (charcoal) $45.00
  • Jach’s NY wool blazer (herringbone brown) $34.98
  • Croft & Barrow hopsack blazer (navy) $59.99
  • Chaps sport coat (grey plaid) $29.99
  • Chaps corduroy sport coat (tan) $39.99
  • Ermenegildo Zegna wool/silk blazer (grey plaid) $14.99 (Moya?!)

Yes, JC Penney’s again.  Kohl’s.  And Target?  Surprisingly, Target has improved their quality of clothing.  The 3 Merona blazers are half-lined and unstructured.  The khaki and olive blazers fit perfect.  I am aware the chances of purchasing off the rack and having it fit sans alterations is a Buddhasend.  Of course the navy blazer has two problems.  The sleeves are a bit long and it has functioning buttons.  Having this tailored would most likely cost more than the $40 investment.  So what is one to do?  Improvise, adapt and overcome.  I wear this very casual.  And what I did with the sleeves in some many circles is frowned upon.  Flip-cuff dress shirts are perfect for this situation.  For me, it works well and it may work for you.  I am not attending a formal gathering.  I’m indulging an atmosphere where the patrons dress whatever they are feeling.  What one will gather by having your fundamentals down, you will be able bend the narrative to suit what you are trying to stylistically achieve.  It is high risk, high reward.  If you are a go-getter, do the same with the way you dress and adjust accordingly.  In the the photo to the right, one can observe how I rolled the sleeves of the blazer and folded the shirt sleeves over the them.  This is the outfit I wore when I was attending my friend’s baby shower (Yes, apparently men can do this nowadays).  Simple, very casual and it works.  There will be no formal wear time for this blazer.  I have a structured Croft & Barrow (Kohl’s brand) blazer as well as a Christian Dior double-breasted blazer (with brass buttons) for such occasions.

Ten of the purchases above were made with coupons and sales.  The Ermenegildo Zegna, I found on Ebay and it is second hand.  I won it for $2.99 so who cares about $12 shipping?!  Not I. And as seen in the featured picture on the debut post of this blog, looks pretty damn good!

ezegna

Designer clothes as well as cars, exercise equipment and houses (to mention a few) are merchandise one can purchase used.   There are thrift shops all over the world housing high end clothes just waiting for someone to have their Master’s in Frugalnomics bring them home.  This blazer fits me well because I had the proper alterations done.  And, this is one thing you will need and I will discuss in the near future.  You need a good taylor tailor.

The options I have presented will help boost your dress game.  I am cognizant there will be individuals who will express their displeasure in some of the aforementioned brands.  Quality is important.  The Target brands I touched on briefly are of good to very good quality and most certainly not a tier or two below high end.  You want the opportunity to wear your clothes for all occasions, often or not so often.  Taking care of your clothing regardless of the price point is very important.  It cannot be stressed enough.  At the end of the day, only you are aware of your spending limits.  Listen to everyone who has suggestions but remember, they won’t making any purchases for you.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jacket by Christian Dior, shirt by Van Heusen, tie by Gucci, pocket square by Santostephano, watch by Stührling Original 

How Do I Look?

Always looking fly, all day!  어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 look good on me! Swag 24 hours! -Beenzino

This, 어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 roughly translates to the fit on my new jeans I bought yesterday (look good on me!).   Denim jeans are a rock solid choice when building your clothing foundation.  They are a classic go to that can be dressed up and of course, dressed down.  Most importantly, it is necessary they look good on you!   While there are many different brands and many different styles, my personal favorites are dark indigo denim jeans and selvedge jeans.  While there is flexibility concerning jeans, in my humble opinion as well as others, the aforementioned is the way to go.  But as you are figuring out and experimenting, you will eventually settle on a style that suits your needs and a style you can call your own.

Dark indigo are prewashed and it is highly suggested one does not wash them often because the color will fade.  There are different ways to wash them.  My advice is to research and figure what is best for your jeans.  Selvedge jeans refers to the self-edge.  In the featured picture, you can see how clean the edge is on the Uniqlo and Gap 1969s.  The indigo jeans are Urban Pipelines from Kohl’s.  On standard jeans, the material isn’t tightened-up.  When one cuffs a standard jean, you’ll see what I am writing about.  It is strongly suggested one does not wash your selvedge jeans regularly.  But if you do, The Art Of Manliness has a video.  FYI, I paid $29.99 for the Uniqlos and $27.19 for the Gap 1969s both on Ebay.  The former runs around $50 & the latter runs over $100.  I saved close to $95.  The Urban Pipelines fit me perfect (I paid $9.99 for them thanks to coupon codes).  The shoes are by Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan.

Always take care of your clothing regardless of the price-point.  Think of your investment in clothing as an investment in your body.  You train hard, consume the proper nutrients and get the proper rest.  In other words, you take care of your body clothes. Now, the break on your jeans is a matter of personal preference.  I wear a 32 inseam juxtaposed to the 29/30 inseam I wear with dress pants and suit pants.  Obvious by the picture above, I indulge a cuff to show off not only the self-edge but the shoe.  The picture to the right, I am wearing Urban Pipelines cuffed.  I want you, the reader to observe the difference of cuffing selvedge and standard jeans.  With both styles of jeans, I am still showing off my shoes.  And hoping some yeppun yeoja sees them and likes them!  Remember what I said a woman notices first?  I digress.  Experiment!  Before purchasing jeans, try them on.  Cuff them.  Do they look good on you?  Or maybe you should try a pair with a shorter inseam so you can go with a slight break or no break sans the cuff?  Depending on the size of your legs in conjunction to your body, should you wear skinny, slim or straight fit?  Remember, at the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with your look and your respective purchases.  Once you find jeans that fit you perfect, the easy part is pairing them with a dress shirt, a t-shirt, a Henley, a waistcoat, a blazer, a sport coat and so on.  The versatility jeans afford you can be summed at quite simply as like being a kid in a candy store.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jeans by Uniqlo, Gap and Urban Pipline