Articles Tagged with alfani

A Turtleneck . . .

Is about sophistication. –Dwayne Wade

I wouldn’t go so far to say sophistication but one can look to bring some panache to the evolving creation of your own style. While it is frowned upon by those who may be afraid to drink something outside a Budweiser (or maybe they just don’t understand turtles), it is in my humble opinion, a garment worth adding to your wardrobe.

Turtlencks or roll-necks as they are called in the UK, have a history that allegedly goes back as far the 15th century. If it piques your curiosity of what class of people wore it or how they were worn, I invite to reader to quench their thirst through research. As far as this writer is concerned, I am simply pointing one in the direction of a piece of clothing that can and will make a difference in your look. The turtleneck offers many different styles and one will be tasked with making a decision. A common theme I have instilled into this blog is for one to do their research. While a chunky turtleneck may look like a home run to you, put it on and find out if it truly suits you, accentuates your appearance and of course doesn’t break your bank account into pieces.

Seigo KatsuragawaMy personal preference when I do wear a turtleneck is with a blazer instead of an OCBD or dress shirt.  Mianhae, no Seigo Katsuragawa limited edition ties today!  The turtleneck does bring an air of classy and is almost James Bond-like.  But you and I know, only Daniel Craig can play Bond and we’re just quiet observers in the world of espionage he brings to justice!  But I digress.  You can experiment to see what suits you best. If there is one piece advice (and I really don’t like to give advice) to remember is to guinea pig yourself.  What works for me, may or not work for you and so on.

Besides the obvious name brands that are high end, one will be able to secure one or more turtlenecks (depending if you become obsessed), for a very reasonable price point.  I bought both turtlenecks pictured for under $25.  Where you may wonder?  Ebay remember?  Where dreams come true unless you absolutely screw up and do not read thoroughly!  Until next time,  jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Blazer by Austin Reed, turtleneck by Alfani, pocket square by Feather And Smith, watch by Stuhrling Original

*Supplemental picture: Blazer by Chaps, turtleneck by Express, pocket square by Feather and Smith, sunglasses by Miu Miu

*Music inspiration: Like The Sun By Crush

The Hell With Circumstances . . .

I create opportunities. –Bruce Lee

Friday. September 8th. 3 PM. After celebrating Labor Day weekend days earlier, I as well as many of my co-workers were informed the business we put our labor into was closing its doors. The decision put all of us in a very uncompromising position. I have read these stories over the years and felt empathy for those who were unwilling placed in the personnel surplus reduction program.  Now, 700 + of us were being transitioned out of our positions permanently. What made it worse? It’s right before the holidays. So thankful. Ho-Ho-Ho.

I feel it’s a fitting segue for how to dress for a job interview, agree?

After dedicating well over eight thousand days of my life to one place (yes, I am loyal), it was time to search for a new place of employment. I created my resume, had it looked over, created a LinkedIn account and signed up on Indeed as well as Glassdoor. I uploaded the resume and began searching.  Winter is coming . . . 

I was never concerned about how I was going to dress for potential interviews.  I was worried about the interview process.  This is uncharted waters for me and my confidence was somewhat in question.  I was afraid of the uncertain.  Fear is considered a weakness.  It isn’t.  As long as one is at peace with it, you can use it to your advantage.  But I digress.  As of this blogging, I have already engaged in one face-to-face interview (thanks to a good phone interview) with another 2 in waiting.  I have been out of the employment search loop because of my time invested in place, so I was unaware of the phone interview. Good phone interviews as well as the body of work your resume presents, will lead to on-site interviews and this is wear where the focus will be centered on.

If you have been following this blog, you are more than aware of the importance of dressing well with a economical twist.  The dichotomy I spoke of in the introduction of this blog, First Impressions needs to be reconciled by all of us individually.  No one knows your capabilities better than you but one cannot go to an interview dressing as if it’s the weekend BBQ.  Always bring your A game.  That A game means a suit.  A grey or navy blue suit is best with a standard white dress shirt, matching shoes, belt and watch band.  If you choose to wear a pocket square, go with the timeless and simple white one.  The tie you choose should be simple and effective.  Choose your colors wisely and keep the patterns to a minimum.  Your job is to sell your self and the book cover must be presentable!  In our society, appearances are rather important when it comes to securing a job.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  I will advise against being too showing with jewellry, and cologne.  A minimalist watch is most effective and a light  touch of cologne. 

I don’t feel it is necessary to expound on the obvious such as making sure you shine your shoes, shave or trim your facial hair, make sure your shirt is ironed or pressed, brush your teeth, train, say your prayers, take your vitamins . . . wait a minute!  I apologize for getting carried away!

Be confident in presenting your story to a potential employer.  There are plenty resources of on-line to crash course before your big interview.  At the end of the day, whatever the circumstance may be, see it as an opportunity.  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Featured picture: Shoes by Banana Republic, tie by Tasso Elba, belt by Croft & Barrow, watch by Timex, 

*Supplemental picture: Suit by Alfani Red, shirt by Alfani

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 

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!

Creating Your Own Style . . .

Is easier than one thinks.  Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.  That my friend is a quote by the great Li Jun Fan better known as Bruce Lee.  His quote is applicable to just about anything as well as men’s fashion.  If you are like I am, you observe, you study and apply.

An important aspect (and what I feel in my humble opinion is most significant) of fashion is having a solid foundation.  A solid foundation means having your fundamentals down to a science.  If you ever played (dis)organized sports, there were always those guys who liked to hot dog everything.  What did these show-boaters have in common?   Zero fundamentals.  If you take short cuts, more often than not, everything crumbles like a house of cards.  It’s the same with how you dress.  It is absolutely no question when you dress well, you will be treated positively.  By being fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.

The genesis of your wardrobe should be based on the classics (the fundamentals). These are timeless and will never go out of style!  In no particular order you should acquire the following: navy blazer/sport coat, white dress shirt, light blue oxford, v-neck sweater, polo shirt, v-neck and crew neck t-shirt (white, grey or black), Henley (short & long sleeve), grey trousers, chinos, indigo denim jeans, a tailored suit (preferably grey or navy).  As for shoes, one should invest in black dress shoes, brown casual/dress shoes and casual/dress boots.  A quick surf through the world wide web and what I have presented above is close to what most invite you to indulge save for a few more or a few less.

From this starting point, when you are comfortable, confident and have a grasp of what you desire in your look, you can expand from here and experiment.  The aforementioned list appears it could end up being rather expensive and it could be if you go high end with everything!  But metaphorically speaking, you’re poor & broke.  Many of us are always searching for a deal and they are out there.

For example, in the photograph to the right, I am wearing a Perry Ellis waistcoat ($28), an Alfani slim fit stretch dress shirt ($13), an Orsini Surrey Collection knit tie ($7) and a pocket square ($6) from a vendor on Ebay known as TheSquarExtraordinaire.  What you can’t see, I am wearing a pair Ralph Lauren chinos ($20) and a pair of Joseph Abboud suede monk straps ($60).  Total price: $134.  The vest, dress shirt, knit tie, pocket square and chinos were purchased from Ebay.  The monk straps from Sierra Trading Post!

Now for comparison’s sake, I chose Nordstrom because it is considered high end.  I took the average of the first 9 waistcoats, white dress shirts, knit ties, pocket squares and chinos listed on the respective site.  For the monk straps, I chose the first 9 suede because this style of shoe is what I wore and is great for summer wear!

  • Waistcoat, $86
  • Dress shirt, $55
  • Knit tie, $63
  • Pocket square, $36
  • Chinos, $68
  • Monk straps, $268

Total price: $576.  That’s a lot of cake.  If you can afford it, go for it!  But if you cannot, there are great, economical alternatives.  My outfit saved me $442.  You are aware a portion of what I saved was used for a day at the vineyard with some lovely friend?

The points I wanted to introduce are from having sound fundamentals, you can expand and create a style suitable to your tastes without working 4 jobs.  Next time, I will elaborate a little further on where to search for deals.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jacket by Ermenegildo Zegna, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Windom Finery. glasses by Uniqlo