Clothes Without Accessories . . .

is like sex without orgasm. –Robert Lee Morris

In my post this past June, I wrote about adding accessories to your style ensemble.  The wonderful (or not so wonderful) thing about accessorizing is, there are endless possibilities.  With endless possibilities, there is always a chance of going a bit overboard.  This is when one takes a step back and makes an assessment of what truly works.  One thing that will always work especially during the Spring, Summer and early Autumn are nato straps.  The British Ministry of Defence introduced the nato strap as an alternative to the standard watch band.  As with most things, there is always some kind of crossover.  For example, camouflage has crossed over into men’s fashion.  But I reserve camo for the shooting range or for the young hipsters who have the moxie to pull it off most excellently.  As for the reader, I highly recommend getting a few of these.  Arguably the best thing about nato straps is you purchase one one watch then scour the world wide web for straps.  Nato straps come in many varieties as well as price points.  Finding a watch that fits your budget is just as easy.  In the featured picture, one will see the iconic Timex Weekender and a Stührling Original Regatta.  I paid $26.28 for the Timex and $51.12 for the Stührling Original on Overstock.com.  Timex are well, timeless.  I own two Weekenders (a Weekender Forty Chrono), a Timex Fairfield and a T Series with a mother of pearl face.  Stührling Originals are underrated.  I love my Regatta as well as my Newberry Ultra-slim.  I did a lot of research on the brand as well as Invicta.

According to The Gentleman’s Gazette author J.A. Shapira, Max Stuhrling was a master watchmaker who worked under Louis Audemars of Audemars Piguet.  If you have the money to spend on a Audemars, by all means go for it!  If you don’t have the money to spend, there are a plethora of options for one to look at with the aforementioned being 3 of them.

For the record, just about every watch company imaginable has some kind of nato strap style watch.  One thing you must be cognizant of is the size of the wrist band when you do buy additional straps.  For example, the Timex Weekender pictured comes in at 20mm. The Stührling Regatta in the featured picture comes in at 22mm.  Purchase the correct size (online) or you’ll be waiting impatiently for the return.  Of course, this is where I plug in my go to, Ebay.  The straps in the featured pic as were found and purchased from Ebay.  I paid under $9.59 for each strap with the lowest costing me $7.95.  I may have found them cheaper but the shipping was free through this vendor.  Sometimes, there is no guarantee you will find free shipping through another site.  The shipping charge would pretty much off-set the lower price of the strap.

There is an endless assortment of color combinations as well as just a straight color band. One can match shirts to straps, belts to straps, pants to straps, pocket squares to straps, wear a suit and go off script with a coordinated nato strap and the list goes on and on!  In my humble opinion, look at the color palette of your wardrobe as a starting point and figure out what you would like to match.  Your foundation should be strong enough for one to see what works and what doesn’t work.  As always, experiment until you pinpoint the style you are trying to convey to the world.  And if nato straps aren’t your cup of tea, no worries.  At the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with the style you are creating for yourself.  Until next time, jal ga!

 

*Supplemental picture, right: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Jhane Barnes, pocket square by Feather and Smith, watch by Timex, sunglasses by Miu Miu

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Old Navy, shirt by Alfani, tie by Gucci, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, watch by Stuhrling Original, sunglasses by Miu Miu 

Nothing Makes A Woman Look So Old . . .

as trying desperately hard to look young. –Coco Chanel

Although the quote is about women it is most certainly applicable to men. Rules for women are different from us and in some cases are much more flexible. I’m not an expert on the rules pertaining to women but I do have some idea on what pertains to men.

In my younger days (think early 20s), I used to see males who were obviously 15 to 20 years older than me that dressed just as I did!  I always said to myself, it looks cool you’re older and dress this way but something just ain’t right!  I think back to my leaving the 20s and hitting my 30s.  I ditched some clothing as well as accessories I felt in my opinion, I had no business wearing.  No one instructed me nor did I read it somewhere.  I just did it as I did when leaving my 30s entering my 40s.  For example, 7 days out from my 40th, I ditched my earrings.  In my opinion, no man should be wearing them after 40.  I know.  I know. Morgan Freeman wears one.  But I’m not Morgan Freeman and although I have a great voice for narration, I’ll never beat his voice.  I also decided tank tops were only for gym time or the beach.  Taking an inventory of their wardrobe and adding and subtracting accordingly is something men should be doing anyway.  There is always an overlap of clothes and accessories that can still be worn from ages 20 to 30 and 30 to 40.  But as you get older the overlap dissipates.  There are plenty of resources on the world wide web that describes in great detail during these age-compliant windows, what one should add to their wardrobe and what one should subtract.  The world won’t end in a nuclear fury if you’re in your 40s and put on a pair of jean shorts and a Da Hui tee shirt for a Walmart run.  Full disclosure: I’ve done this recently and I’m not ashamed!  I think.  But if it becomes a habit, an intervention by your friends who have a sense of style may be required.  Now, not going out in gear suitable for someone in their early 20s doesn’t mean you should throw on a blazer, tie, chinos & monk straps for some good old weekly food shopping.   A polo shirt , shorts and some foot apparel that are not flip-flops are most presentable, classy and you won’t look like you are searching for the fountain of youth where the range free eggs are located.  A balance should be of the utmost importance! Take a look at your closet and your drawers and then ask yourself, is it time for an age compliant make-over?  Only you have the answer.  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Featured picture: Waistcoat by Perry Ellis, shirt by Alfani, bow tie by The Tie Bar, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, watch by Invicta, sunglasses by Miu Miu 

Supplemental picture, left: T shirt by Da Hui, jean shorts by Nautica

Supplemental picture, right: Polo shirt by Sonoma, shorts by Burnside, shoes by Muk Luks, watch by Timex

 

You Can Make Jeans And A T-Shirt . . .

super stylish. It’s what you make of it, you know? -Phillip Lim

Ah yes, the t-shirt.  Simple, effective, versatile and to beholden.  The iconic white t-shirt has been around for hundreds of years.  Anti-military folk who don the t-shirt as part of their staple, can thank the US Navy for creating this timeless piece of clothing.  We wouldn’t allow our personal feelings to get in the way of how we dress, arasso

There are two kinds of t-shirts one should will invest in, the crew neck and the v-neck.  Both are self-explanatory but I will touch on them briefly.  The crew neck is a collarless shirt.  The v-neck is a collar cut into a v-shape.  Depending on body structure, the crew and the v will accentuate one’s face and body structure.  Some will look better wearing a crew neck.  Some will look better wearing the v-neck.  Some will look great wearing both.  I still strongly suggest adding both to your foundation because of the versatility these allow you.  You can wear this singularly with a pair of nice selvedge jeans.  You can wear these layered under a jumper/v-neck/crew neck sweater.  Instead of a dress shirt, wear a v-neck under your sport coat/blazer.  Be sure to throw in that pocket square!  The list goes on and on.  It sounds like a bottomless cup of coffee.  As with anything you are wearing, FIT, FIT, FIT is paramount!  A Yin-Yang to be achieved is not too tight, as you just did a compound set of heavy decline skull crushers and hammer dumbbell hammer curls and not too baggy as if you are swimming in the sleeves.  Also, every brand fits differently.  You know your body best and it is important to find a brand that fits you perfect.  When you do, stick with them!  The main colors you want in your wardrobe are white, black and grey.  As you gain confidence and have a grasp on what you are looking for, as always, expand your color palette.  Economically speaking, the great thing about the t-shirt is the price point.  Sure, one can purchase a Tom Ford t-shirt (and I do like Tom Ford clothing) but the amount of money spent on this t-shirt can be invested elsewhere.  

Last spring, I spent around $27 for 6 t-shirts from JC Penney’s.  They are the Arizona Jean Clothing line.  I took a chance and was blessed with much luck!  I was unsure if they would have a good fit but it was a small investment with the option of returning them in-store.  It’s a win-win situation even though I was too lazy to go their brick and mortar to try them on.  Another good brand is Urban Pipeline.  It’s a Kohl’s brand I have had luck with.  In addition, Kohl’s is always running deals.  Around the same time I went all-in on JC Penney’s, I picked up 4 t-shirts for almost the price of two (four shirts for $14) .  

There is a another t-shirt I didn’t mention, the Henley.  I won’t go into detail about its origins but provide an in depth link to the humble beginnings of the Henley. I will state the obvious, have a few of these in your wardrobe, short sleeve as well as long sleeve.  The Henley offers the same versatility.  One can find deals on these regularly.  As always, browse around.  Decide what suits your tastes, what fits you best and accentuates your assets.  At the end of the day, you’re investing in your style, you’re investing in a better image and most importantly, you are investing in you Until next time, jal ga!

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Stafford Collection, t-shirt by Arizona, pocket square by Unknown, jeans by Urban Pipeline, shoes by Saks 5th Avenue, watch by Timex, glasses by Uniqlo
*Supplemental picture, right: Henley by Club room, pants by Brooks Brothers, shoes by Johnston and Murphy

Freedom Is A Road . . .

seldom traveled by the multitudes. –Frederick Douglass

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches here in the States, I would like the reader to know I do not appreciate politics at any level.  While the introductory quote may come into question, the point I will centralize my efforts on is the word freedom. While researching, digesting then applying what you have learned into the creation of your own style, in the beginning there has to be structure. The structure helps one and through repetition, have a solid foundation. Or as Allen Iverson said many years ago, “we talkin’ about practice!” 

When you become comfortable, this is the time for honest expression of one’s self. To truly indulge life and love, one must be free.  Dressing well is your book cover.  The story inside must match the what the book cover offers.  Freedom, in what you wear and how you wear it.  Taking a timeless piece of clothing and adding something a bit avant-garde whether it be rolling the sleeves up slightly on your navy blazer or wearing colors that pop.  It is something you embrace and wear flawlessly without constraints of negativity.  Freedom.  Think of those traditionalists who adhere strictly to the standard and are afraid to steer themselves in another direction.  It has zero to eliminating the standbys, for these are proven, to go Pitti Uomo.  It has to do with striking a balance in what you wear and how you wear it.  Freedom.  Everyone wants change but how many are willing to change?  Change is a simple process but difficult for many to execute.  To change you have to free yourself of whatever that disrupts your flow.  If one is wearing a suit with a standard white pocket square, would it hurt to change it out for something non-traditional but vibrant?  Freedom to work your personality into how you dress.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, what if you are content with how you dress?  Wearing the same things could be looked at by the other side as blasé blah.  Are you truly content if you are not expanding your boundaries, studying and experimenting style-wise?   Are you free if follow the standard to the letter without exploring improvisation?  Be the jazz saxophonist who breaks protocol and incorporates trills into his or her first solo!  Learn how to adopt as well as adapt.  Or a better way to make my point is something Bruce Lee once said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

We, sometimes get caught in a cycle, a routine.  I am not stating it is bad.  As mentioned earlier, structure is important. But as an individual with a solid foundation, you have to separate yourself from the crowd.  Free yourself and expand your style endlessly!  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Featured picture: Waistcoat by Perry Ellis, shirt by Paul Smith, tie by Daniel De Fasson, pocket square by Santostephano, pants by Dockers, watch by Movado

*Supplemental picture: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Alfani, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, pants by Dockers, shoes by Sebago, watch by Stuhrling Original, sunglasses by Nautica 

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