Articles Tagged with Merona

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 

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