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The Body Is Meant To Be Seen . . .

Not all covered up. –Marilyn Monroe

I don’t want to be that guy. Then again, I couldn’t care less if I’m labeled that guy. Because that guy wants to help you become your best dressed you. While I am the first one to say traditionalists are not pliable in thought because they are stuck in those style institutions, I’ll also be the first one to say when they got it right. Tank tops are an expression for many. So sexy on women (aigoooooo!) but when it comes to men, there is a lot left to be desired. There are those who are aware of their self-imposed boundaries and will not wear one. There are those who appear to have plumbing snakes flopping from their shoulders. There are those who appear to have an issue walking through a door, sideways. This list goes on. I’ll be honest, I love tank tops but only for the beach or training purposes. And maybe a cookout (when a swimming pool is involved) with people I know very well

Full disclosure. I had a very, very, very, very difficult time covering this subject of tank tops. Pun intended. For me telling the collective NO to tank tops would be hypocritical. I am still gym guy although I do not train at gym. I am wise enough to know, I will match or beat any lift I did 20 years ago and attempt to up the ante. The problem is the DOMS that I will be inflicted upon me will take a decade to wear off. And throw in the fact I’m almost 28, 38, 48 years young. Aish! Isn’t 50 the new 30? Allegedly? But I digress. I train in tank tops. There is that rare occasion, I’ll hit the supermarket with one on. It’s rare so don’t judge me. Am I showing off? Maybe. Did I just didn’t care because I was going in then out quickly? Maybe. Do I look like a goofball? Maybe. Well, actually I look pretty good and of top of all of that, I’m not a bad lookin’ guy.

I am aware it gets hot in the summer whether you believe it has to do with climate change, hot pepper paste, cows passing gas or whatever, you really shouldn’t put on the tank top. For the younger generation, I feel it’s important to forgo the tank top if you can.  I know it’s tough. I, myself had a difficult time many years ago.  They’re comfortable.  You have ink you want to show off.  You have gains you want to show off, etc. I understand like no one else. But I stated over a year ago, first impressions are important. In creating your own style, there are certain things you can keep and there are certain things you must ditch. As always, there are options and these options should be readily available in your wardrobe. Henley’s, fitted t-shirts and depending on the material (preferably linen or a linen/cotton blend), button down oxfords. Pair these with chinos, khakis, jeans, and tailored shorts. Footwear must compliment what you are wearing.  I feel this goes without saying but I just typed nonetheless.  Please for the sake of everyone & the sake for making a great first impression, ditch the tank top unless you hit the beach or the gym. Or the supermarket just because you’re going to quickly go in & quickly exit.  Until next, jal ga!

*Supplemental picture: Henley by Alfani, jeans by Banana Republic, shoes by Banana Republic, watch by Orient

*Music vibe: Surfing-Artinb

 

Know First Who You Are . . .

and then adorn yourself accordingly. –Epictetus

I could have gone all Happy New Year 2018 but that isn’t my style. I have a foundation I have built upon for decades and I have a preference to deviate from societal norms. Hell, my parents did not adhere to societal norms so why should I?  My duty is to keep up the tradition!  But I digress.

Come this March 2018, it will be one year for this blog.  I am hopeful as a reader you have grasped what I have presented and have grown stylistically.  If you frequent here, I truly appreciate it.  If you have been able to apply some of the things I have presented here and you expand from it, you are obviously are heading in the right direction!   I established this blog because I have something to offer.  A different perspective and a desire to see one succeed at creating their own image.  We are bombarded with standards.  The standard may work for some but it may not work for all.  As I have elaborated in the past, have a foundation and expand your horizons.  In my opinion, it is important to incorporate elements of your personality, your culture and who you are into your style.  This is how we evolve.  We have to guinea pig ourselves.  It is important to ask questions but not so much one cannot make a decision without input from our peers. We experiment until we find a formula that works.  When the formula becomes stagnant, we search for ways to get back up to spec.  It’s very simple to say but a whole different ballgame to put it into action.  But if you want something bad enough, you will do what it takes (within reason, I hope) to achieve.  Anyhow, enough of my rambling.  Let me touch on something every wardrobe should have, the double breasted blazer.

The double breasted blazer has nautical and sporting origins.   Better known as the reefer jacket, it was adopted into fashion.  It has had its periods of popularity.  In recent years it has made a comeback.  The jacket is characterized by the overlapping front just like the pea coat.  On the inside of the jacket there is what is known as a jigger.  It assists in keeping the jacket tight.  One fastens this first, then the respective middle button.  There are rules for buttoning too when it comes to the double breasted blazer.  Always button the middle button only juxtaposed to the single breasted, one will always keep the top button fastened.  Leave the jacket buttoned when sitting down.  The extra material flopping around to say the least, will appear unflattering whereas with the single breasted, one unbuttons the jacket.   The versatility of the double breasted blazer is one to enjoy.  They can be worn in formal as well as casual settings.  Spend a few hours on Pintrest and prepared to go michin with all the possibilities this piece of clothing brings!  Just like the single breasted blazer and sport coat, they are made with different materials as well as different colors.  The blazer above left is a linen-cotton blend made by Stafford.  I have spoke highly of JC Penneys in past writings and will continue to do so.  This jacket was of the classic fit but as usual, my tailor made them perfect.  The double-breasted navy blazer will have gold/brass buttons just as most single-breasted do.  But if this is too much, you can always find them with regular buttons.  You can have your tailor replace them or if you’re feeling a little daring with your buttons, go with something avant-garde!  As with everything you purchase, fit reigns supreme.  You should have a good idea what brands suit your body best.  In addition, you should know when something needs tailoring.  Every so often, one can metaphorically hit the Powerball and what is purchased off the rack or second hand fits perfectly.  If you were pondering life with a double breasted jacket, whether it would be a suit or blazer, I strongly recommend you consider it!  Until next time, jal ga!

 

*Feature picture: Shoes by 14th & Union, tie by Ling Dai Jing Pin, pocket square by Santostefano

*Supplemental picture, left: Blazer by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani, tie by Oakton, pocket square by Ralph Lauren, sunglasses by Tommy Hilfiger, watch by Movado

*Supplemental picture, right: Blazer by Christian Dior, shirt by Robert Talbott, tie by Christian Dior, pocket square by Santostefano, watch by Timex

*Music vibe: Bubble Gum-Seora feat. Punchnello

 

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 

If You Make A Mistake . . .

Do not be afraid to correct it. -Confucius

I read a variety of subjects quite regularly.  I mostly indulge Eastern philosophy.  The above quote resonated with me and I reason it should with the reader as you decide which direction you are going in creating your own style.

For decades, I have always attempted to dress well and dress age-compliant.  I’ve seen & have partook in some trends.  I recall the late 80s and early 90s when over sized polka dot shirts, Mandarin collar dress shirts, baggy dress pants, Georgio Brutini shoes, designer jeans as well as track suits were in play.  But in the end, I have always had to ask myself, “will this work for me?”

Whether you’ve been out of the game for a while, are looking to improve your appearance or just starting out, you will make mistakes.  Whether it is sizing down when you should have not, purchasing skinny jeans when you have no business wearing them or ordering clothes from the UK or Asia and not taking into consideration their sizing charts, the list goes on.  This isn’t a shit happens moment. Most mistakes can be avoided and be kept to a minimum.  As I stressed in an earlier writing, research!  With the technological advances bestowed upon us, there is no excuse for not doing a thorough sweep on-line for recommendations, reviews, comparisons, forum boards, etc.  Even though the world wide web has provided us with such shopping delicacies, visiting brick and mortars is still relevant.  When shopping in person, think of it as forging an interpersonal relationship with a well qualified salesperson juxtaposed to having an on-line relationship with a website customer service rep.  We, sometimes overanalyze.  If we do this, we miss some things that never required so much thought.  Think bout it.  Jal ga!

*Featured picture: Jacket by Mossimo, shirt by Tommy Hilfiger, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, pants by Banana Republic, socks by Van Heusen, watch by Invicta

*Supplemental picture: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Feather And Smith, jeans by Levis, socks by Perry Ellis, shoes by Allen Edmonds, watch by Stuhrling Original