Wain, pronounced the same as the cape crusader/ trust fund baby Bruce Wayne, isn’t your average run of the mill architect in a black suit. He’s a murse carrying, suit wearing, pocket square flaunting professional that’ll put the real Mr. Wayne to shame. Whether he’s spending a night out on the town or surveying a New York building, you can bet your ass he’s doing it in style and class. One can say that he’s a heroine in his own right; a fashion heroine upholding the idea that men can look damn fine too.
Christopher Wain is one out of many embracing the idea that men can be snazzy, chic, elegant and sophisticated. From top to bottom, the first thing you’ll notice is his hair. Adding several inches to his height (5 1/2’’ to be exact), it is his trademark. To achieve the Tower of Babel that is his hair, Chris uses potent Japanese wax, ample amounts of hair spray and overall patience.
“It does take quite a bit of work. The secret is to blow dry the beast, have it fully dry and shape your hair before you even add any product.”
The process doesn’t end here.
“I use a Japanese wax to create the style I’m looking to achieve for the day, then finish it off with a strong hair spray my hair stylist recommended.”
These two pieces tame the doo pretty well. It towers above his scalp and combats gale force winds, humidity and sweat filled days.
His sense of style harks back to his adolescent days of first dates, pimple taming and SATs. When asked about the origin of his style, he recollects calmly.
“I decided to recreate my image in my junior year of high school, so I took a few chances and took control of my style.”
Chris would slightly shiver at the sight of his former self, but he shows no remorse for the way he used to dress himself.
“When I wore those clothes, it felt right, so I have no regrets.”
Leaving that part of fashion history behind, his current style is an evolution, years in the making (But, more on that later).
Working in New York City, Chris draws inspiration from styles he sees on the street. This is his way of keeping his style fresh and different. But no outfit is complete without a splash of his own character and flair. And every outfit is over the top. So, Chris easily stands out in a field that embraces casual, comfortable and often loose fitting clothing. He tackles fashion mediocrity with a collection of setups rich in detail, color and swag. But, Chris has one important ground rule:
“Once you’re dressed, you’ve got to embrace your outfit. The biggest part of style is confidence. If you own up to your fashion choices for the day, you’ll be fine.”
Chris also draws inspiration and confidence from the soccer and fashion extraordinaire David Beckham. Keeping a close eye on his outfits on the red carpet, magazine spreads and TV appearances Chris emulates a lot of his style. But it doesn’t end there. As a strong believer of evolving his own fashion, he doesn’t shy away from recent trends.
He struts his goods in a grey H&M suit. The black vest and pants, also from H&M, creates a bit of contrast to the entire ensemble. Chris blends in with the style savvy, cobblestone laden streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Even on a day when the temperature continues to climb, he tries to fight the beads of sweat forming on his forehead. And despite the heat, he showcases his love for detail with a heavy focus on fitment.
“I definitely pay much more attention to details, in particular, the fit of all of my clothes. Without the right fit, the articles of clothing don’t work as well.”
As the interview came to a close, Chris provided some knowledge for men just getting into fashion. And much like the view he had throughout the interview, he closed it by emphasizing it some more.
“Most people think that fashion starts and ends with the clothes that you wear. You couldn’t be any more wrong! Fashion is all about confidence, being bold and staying true to yourself.”
We’ve talked about patterns here on FashionMR before, but this is more of a love letter to the king of fall/winter patterns: tweed. Timeless in design, it’s a staple item in the fall wardrobe. I know fall is behind us, but it also deserves a rightful place in winter fashion. Whether it’s on a suit, shirt or sweater, the pattern or fabric is tastefull and classy for the season; making it a rather popular option in the sartorial community. While it’s favored by high fashion enthusiasts, the pattern has a more humble and rugged past.
Dating back to the 19th century, Tweed was an invention that originated from rural Scotland and Ireland. Commonly worn as a hunting jacket, the patterns rise to fame began when it became popular with the British elite. At the time, the northern estates in England became an attractive purchase for the British upper class. They wanted to purchase or rent these estates not just as a status symbol, but also as a place to spend their time taking part in leisurely pursuits; shooting, hunting or fishing. The demand and popularity of tweed increased with the British royalty embracing the pattern. Throughout the years, tweed established itself as a casual pattern appropriate for social functions and even commutes to the office.
If you’re thinking of adding some tweed to your ensemble, you’re making the right choice. The various colors and patterns offered in this fabric, allows for some contrast to an outfit without being too bright and colorful; that’s what the summer months are for. If you’re trying to go with a tweed suit, feel free to match it with a blue shirt and navy vest combo like the image below. And if you’re thinking of throwing a tie into the mix, try not to pick a tie that would overpower the suit’s color. Allow the clothing you’re trying to showcase, make the most statement in color. But most importantly, whatever color/pattern setup you’re trying to achieve, commit to it and wear it with confidence.
That’s right, Sriracha is now a beer; a stout to be exact. If you thought the pumpkin spice craze is getting out of hand, this spicy and irresistible taste of Asia is pretty close.
The boffins over at ROGUE laboratories has created another concoction that just might top all the other crazy creations they’ve thought up. While it is a bit pricey for a 1 pint bottle, novelty craft beers are rarely modestly priced. So if you’re a Sriracha addict, this will help you give you an extra fix of irresistibly hot, chili sauce while helping you loosen up. ($13)
You’re eyes are not fooling you. That is a piece of leather wrapped around the flashlight’s grip. Made with standard American cowhide and powered by two D cell batteries, the design is quintessentially vintage. The looks hark back to the early days of flashlight design. But while playing tribute to an old look, it provides a modern touch. The torch uses LED bulbs for illumination instead of incandescent bulbs; allowing for longer battery life. With the three batteries, you can expect 20 hours of use. So if vintage is your thing, out looking for a gift for someone who does, or just wants to add to a future costume, this is right up your alley. ($45)
The folks over at Kenu are out with a must have iPhone accessory called the “Highline”. Made for active individuals who often worry about losing their smartphone in precarious situations (i.e. on a ski lift, kayaking or rock climbing).
The “Highline” is a kit that consists of a case and a compatible leash. The elastic leash, made from kevlar, fastens to the bottom of the case via the lightening port and can be attached when not in use. Once connected to the bottom port, the leash can be fastened to any zipper, loop or carabiner with a lanyard. Heavy-duty in design, the “Highline” is sure to prevent any future mishaps with your precious i-device. ($30-$35)
He walked out of the elevator with a suit slung over his shoulder and a tan Herschel rucksack full of clothes fit for a sit-down with the president himself. Much like the closing remark in a previous email conversation, he was prepared for anything.
The office now dim and devoid of employees, Steven Onoja exchanged small talk; giving us a brief recap of his earlier escapades. He opened his neatly packed bag and emptied the surrounding area with several different articles of clothing. Quite overwhelmed with the amount of clothing and the level of preparedness, we left it up to him to decide which outfit to choose. After a quick trip to the bathroom and a ride down the elevator, Steven was out in his environment; the streets, avenues and boulevards of the Big Bad City.
He walks through the streets with a sense of dignity and confidence that is the direct result of the clothes he wears. Wandering eyes of passersby stay fixated to the various outfits and accessories that seem to act as a second skin, but more on that later.
Steven was always ready and willing to pose and talk style and fashion. Whether it was from years of experience and a plethora of shoots, his ability to keep the poses organic and natural was second nature and done almost on cue.
“Can we try this shot here?”
“Where? here?” as he walks over and strikes a pose near a red brick wall.
It was almost uncanny how casual and comfortable Steven really was but he made the urban environment part of him; part of his identity.
Of Nigerian descent, Steven is just one of a growing number of fashion bloggers trying to make his mark in a scene that is already flooded with quality and seasoned bloggers. But, he isn’t too concerned about his competition. Steven is simply enjoying the moment while developing his sense of style. Drawing inspiration and attention from his walks down Bedford Avenue over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he shows his creative side through the various photoshoots showcased in his blog stevenonoja.com. Stemming from a childhood love of art, Steven now uses himself as a canvas and his clothes like the colors on a palette.
Being in fashion blogging for over three years, Steven is quite humble. When asked about his competition, he responds by saying:
“My competition is my inspiration,” while taking a sip of his coke.
“They are more of an inspiration to me to do better. I want to work with people better than me and try to better myself working with them.”
Drawing inspiration from his competitors, Steven’s style is clean, discreet with a good balance of colors and patterns. There isn’t always a hat on his noggin, but it’s a common piece to his diverse collection of outfits. Coupled with a navy suit, blue tie and a white spread collar shirt, his attire is never devoid of accessories. The Tie clip, rings and a pair of shades clipped to his front suit pocket sums up the flair he adds to his outfit; that’s before you get to his leather monk strap shoes.
He puts great emphasis on the shoe game. It’s the starting point of his outfit and what Steven believes to be what people look at first when judging an outfit. The monk strap shoe isn’t the pair he started out with, but it’s a product of his style’s evolution. Days of wearing worn out shoes riddled with holes is behind him, Steven’s sense of style now deserves a pair of shoes that scream class and sophistication; and he shows it.
The next step in Steven’s style evolution is mixing dapper and street fashion. He plans to pair the two in hopes of further solidifying his personal sense of style. The signature fedora is first on the chopping block; soon to be replaced with some other form of head gear.
In a quiet corner of Central Park’s east side (77th and 5th avenue), Eganam Segbefia quietly unzips his trumpet case. A short distance away, children play in close proximity to their mothers and nannies. Eganam, better known as “Eggo”, prepares for a two hour performance with the trees and benches as an audience. Hoping to fill those benches, he begins to warm up with a few interruptions from locals that know him by name. And standing right next to his portable speakers are the words “Inspiration without Perspiration is Hallucination”. Eggo is the “Dapper Trumpet Man”.
Sandwiched between two park benches, he lets out a calm tune. Feeling a bit of confidence, Eggo presses the keys on his trumpet and lets out a series of notes that can be heard throughout the area. A nanny with a stroller makes her way to a nearby bench, sits down and says to the baby, “Just three songs ok?”
The baby murmurs a few barely audible sounds muffled by her pacifier. Another nanny, a familiar face, walks over and greets Eggo. With a big smile, he exchanges pleasantries and bends over to greet the baby smiling in the stroller. A high five and a few smiles later, he plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. The baby smiles and claps his hands in delight, inspiring Eggo to play more. With one hand on the trumpet keys, he waves at the happy child.
Three friends dressed for a casual sit-down make their way to the corner bench. They don’t engage in conversation, but listen as Eggo continues playing one tune after another. He then closes his eyes as if to lose himself in the moment. The tunes carry him off to a state of bliss seldom experienced by non-musicians. His trumpet sways up and down and side-to-side without a care in the world. Eggo returns to reality with the arrival of some usuals. He gingerly rests the trumpet on the stand and greets the babies and their nannies. This goes on for two hours with a brief intermission in between.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell if he truly lives up to the name “dapper”. Eggo’s outfit often changes depending on the music and the setting he is playing in.
“When I wear a full on suit I like to think of a classical jazz club or a real controlled setting; like a ballroom or a black tie event.”
But in the company of mothers, nannies and babies, Eggo is the “Comfortable, Unassuming Trumpet Man”. Keeping his style relatable and more approachable, he sticks to superhero graphic tees and outfits that’ll keep his audience happy.
He cleans up rather well. Towards the end of his first two hour performance, Eggo gives up the converse and polo shirt for something more chic. In a matter of what seems like seconds, he changes into a black shirt and grey coat to match the pants. Instead of the black converse, he slips into a pair of red, rubber loafers adorned with black tassels. Using the trumpet to complement the look, he poses for the camera much like a seasoned model. But, there is no “pretend bone” in his body. When asked to pose as if to play the trumpet, Eggo puts his lips to the mouthpiece and lets out a tune; making heads turn. On top of a boulder in the middle of Central Park, he mounts his trumpet, points it to the sky and lets out a lengthy tune like a bugler.
Our photo stroll takes us to the Mall. Standing near the Naumburg Bandshell, Eggo hears a familiar tune; something that sounds much like a saxaphone. Following the music we come upon an old man and his sax. He walks over to him and stands next to him for a great photo opportunity. After firing off a few frames, he starts listening to the tune. Within a few brief moments, Eggo is playing next to the sax man. Much like a seasoned pro, begins to jam paying no attention to the photographer, his now stuffy outfit or his current surroundings. It’s just him, the trumpet and the tune coming out of the man’s sax; nothing else.
British shoemaker Oliver Sweeney is pairing up with Johnnie Walker to release a limited edition leather brogue with a little secret. Hidden in the soles of each shoe is a small bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label!
But, it doesn’t end there. The iconic “Johnnie” logo is stamped on the side of each shoe. And on the back is a stitching of the initials “J.W.”. These leather brogues are priced reasonably for a pair with a “special feature” ($489). So if you don’t mind being judged as an alcoholic, and love to be alcoholically prepared, you might want to add these to your wish-list.
Lets face it, we’re not all superstar gift givers. While others are picking up on subtle hints by loved ones, the clues blow past you like any booze-filled Friday night. If you’re the latter, the holidays or birthdays are filled with anxiety. Well here at FashionMR, we want to lend a hand to make this holiday season a bit more enjoyable and relaxing. Below is a collection of stocking stuffers that will surely tickle the fancies of any man (no sexual pun intended).
The gifts in this guide range from “cheap and cheerful” to “downright ridiculous”. And they vary from the tiny pocket sized bottle of Sriracha ($15) to the luxurious stay at the Presidential Suite in the Mandarin Oriental in Pudong, Shanghai, China ($27,000/Night). So whether you’re being overly generous this year, cutting it back or somewhere in the middle, you’ll be sure to find something in FashionMR’s 50 Holiday Gifts.
$100 or Less
Thermals By Tani ($150-$300): Soft to the touch, thermals from Tani provide a mixture of warmth and comfort throughout the winter months; a staple in every male wardrobe.
Uniqlo Cashmere Sweaters ($90): An unbeatable price for a cashmere sweater, Uniqlo pulls it off again with this comfortable and warm piece. The sweaters come in crew neck or v.
Bison No.1 Leather Belt ($100):Sturdy and better looking with age, Bison No.1 leather belts are handcrafted in the USA and each item screams quality. Rather standard in design, it’ll keep any pair of slacks or denim from coming undone. Each belt is stamped with a silhouette of a Bison and very smooth to the touch. It’s another leather product that looks better with age.
Topsiders by ChantUSA ($90): Fusing college livery and casual topsiders, ChantUSA has a growing collection of shoes from UCLA to the University of Miami. Each pair comes made in leather and branded with the school’s initials on the sides. So flaunt your school colors. Tastefully express school pride or help someone else do the same this holiday season.
Pocket Sriracha ($7): Ease your craving for Sriracha with this pocket sized bottle. Just throw it in your bag and be ready whenever you have that itch for some heat.
Death Before Decaf Mug ($12): We love our coffee here at FashionMR, so we feel that it should be made known to everyone around you. If you’re just as passionate about your cup of joe, this is the a way to do it.
Shit I Got to Fu*king Get Done Notebook ($10): We know you always have a laundry list of things to do each and everyday. And if you’re the forgetful type, why not write it in this?
Bonobos: Bold Check ($85): Look clean and stylish this holiday season with this button-down from Bonobos; currently on sale for $48.
New Balance: Elite Racing 999 ($99): Comfortable, classy and stylish in design, Elite Racing from New Balance is sure to help you standout from the rest.
Hickoree’s: The Hill-Side Salt & Pepper Beige Socks ($18): Your socks have every right to be seen. So, let the world know that your socks are the shi*t with these bad boys!
Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon ($24): The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without some “fire water” courtesy of Bourbon extraordinaire Evan Williams. So make someone (or yourself) happy with some Evan Williams Bourbon.
Petrolified Iconic Car Prints ($19): Got carlovers in your life? If yes, surprise them with these minimalistic prints of iconic cars throughout history. It’s sure to class up any man-cave.
Maple Bacon Flavored Ground Coffee 1 lb. Bag ($13.99): Why buy and enjoy them separately when you can simply enjoy it all in a coffee? This is the perfect gift for the bold few who enjoy bacon as well as coffee.
Kopi Luwak Coffee ($70): With the reputation for being “the world’s most expensive coffee”, the Kopi Luwak Coffee is quite an exotic blend of coffee. Harvested using methods that would make you cringe or hurl, the Kopi Luwak Coffee is truly in a class of it’s own.
Bodum Santos Stovetop Glass Vacuum 34-Ounce Coffee Maker ($80): Since we’re on the topic of coffee, why not talk about cool brewing methods? Bodum offers this nifty vacuum brewer that’s sure to add a twist to any coffee-lovers brewing ritual.
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare ($60): For the Sony PS4 and Xbox One systems, COD: Advanced Warfare is a perfect choice for the gamelovers in your life.
Parker 71R Safety Razor Shave Set ($80): A classy razor set, the Parker kit has everything you need to shave like a “real man”.
Penfield Summit Parka ($435): Any winter holiday gift guide will be lacking without a jacket recommendation. The Penfield Summit Parka is a quality choice that is sure to last many seasons. A mix of casual and utilitarian, these parkas are right at home over any kind of top; suit, shirt or sweater. And with a line of fur over the hood, it keeps the wind and low temperatures away.
Topo X Woolrich Rover Pack ($190): Topo in partnership with outdoor brand Woolrich, makes these cool day packs. Built by hand in Colorado, this pack is a mix of durability as well as quality. You can feel quality from the fabric used to make the pack, to the seemingly indestructible zippers.
Naked & Famous 32oz. Selvedge Denim ($495): Weighing in at 32oz., this heavyweight from Naked & Famousis are as stiff as they come. It’ll turn any yogaphile or gymnast into a rigid branch. And because they are raw, you’re going to have to break into denim. While it may be a pain to get into or move around in them, this denim is the king of all warm denims. Due to their thickness, this pair of denim is durable and long lasting.
Danner Mtn Light Overton ($330): An item manufactured right here in the U.S. of A., is the Danner Mtn Light Overton boot. The pair comes with Gore-Tex lining (breathable and waterproof) and a suede exterior. And much like the Bison belt, these boots look better with age.
Maple Set Knives ($105): This set of knives is a rather unique item in that each knife is made mostly of wood; with just the blade being metal. By using only a small amount of metal for the blade, it cuts down on the weight, making it comfortable to use.
Shinola: The Runwell Watch ($550): Built in Detroit with passion and quality, the Shinola Runwell watch is a minimalistic watch hand-built to last.
Grovemade: iPhone 6/6+ Wooden iPhone Case ($129-$139): Grovemade iPhone 6/6+ cases are built by hand using leather and wood. Each case is built to near perfection and made to last much longer than the life of the iPhone.
Eye of Mine: GoPro Gimbal ($399): A perfect companion to the GoPro, the Eye of Mine Gimbal is designed to keep the camera steady and leveled in any situation.
YotaPhone 2 ($800): Packed with two displays, the YotaPhone is first of its kind. With a AMOLED 5 inch display in the front and a 4.7 inch E-paper display in the rear, it allows the user to go with a battery saving option by using the B/W rear display. It also comes packed with the usual set of amenities like an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and Android OS built in.
Brooks Brothers: Fitzgerald Fit Blue with Rust Windowpane Sport Coat ($498): Known for comfort, luxury and quality, Brooks Brothers knocks it out of the park with this tasty number.
Polo: Diamond-Quilted Sport Coat ($279.99): Perfect for the winter season, this coat by Polo is ideal for any classy and simple setups.
Red Wing: Iron Ranger ($310): Designed for durability and know for its ruggedness, the Redwing: Iron Ranger is no exception. You can probably go without another boot for awhile.
Tanner Goods: Utility Bifold Wallet ($100): This Bifold wallet is another example of a quality item built right here in America. But if you’re not fazed by that fact, know that it is well made to last for years.
Canada Goose Freestyle Vest Caribou ($307.80): Jackets are a necessity this holiday season, so are the vests if you’re planning to go for a layered look. Keep warm while looking good with Canada Goose’s Freestyle Vest.
Lomo’ Instant ($120): If you’re bored and annoyed at the design and handling of the Fuji Instax line of instant cameras, why not try one from Lomo? It takes the same film used on the Instax cameras, so you won’t have to commit to another film format.
World Class Driving Experience ($300+): For those who love cars and experience based gifts, the World Class Driving experience will keep you smiling for a few hours. Enjoy a few hours driving cars you can only dream about (i.e.: Ferraris, Lamborghinis and pretty much anything fast).
20th Anniversary Sony PS4 ($650): If you’re a Sony purist, you shouldn’t let this one go. With only 12,300 units being sold, it is a rare piece. Reminiscent of the original Sony PS1, this kit comes with the unit, controller and camera; all in the same color.
Leica M-A ($4750): Put together with extreme scrutiny, Leica’s M-A is 35mm film camera handmade in Germany. Unchanged since the 50s, this camera is made to last longer than your great grandkids, hence the price.
Hendo Hoverboard ($10,000): If Marty McFly was a childhood hero to you and ‘Back to the Future’ was your favorite movie growing up, then the dream of owning a real hoverboard is that much closer. For $10,000 bones you can live out your childhood dreams while emptying your wallet.
Custom Suits by Brook’s Brothers ($14,000+): You know that any item from the Brook’s Brothers line screams quality. These suits are no exception. If money is no issue, why not get your loved ones a suit that matches perfectly to them?
DJI: Inspire 1 Drone ($2899): This little gadget is sure to bring out the kid in you. It’s a perfect item for videographers and enthusiasts alike. Just be mindful of the price.
2016 Lexus RC-F ($60,000+): Lexus is back in full force with a classy and sporty coupe. So go ahead. Buy it for your trophy wife when she says, “You don’t have to get me a Ferrari.”
Fujifilm X100t ($1299): While it looks a lot like the last model, X100S, it comes built in with a large number of new features that will make any photography professional or enthusiast smile.
Lux iPhone 6+ ($12,000): So why is this iPhone so expensive? Just take a look. The 24K gold plated iPhone 6+ also comes with diamond encrusted Apple Logo. Extravagant? Yes.
Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental in Pudong, Shanghai, China ($27,000/Night): Take your loved ones to spend a week or two in this palace of a suite. They’ll never forget it. Really. NEVER.
1967 MIKOYAN MIG 21 UM ($70,000): While your millionaire buddies brag about their G6, one up them with a Soviet Era fighter jet.
Moro Monk Strap by A. Testoni ($38,000): Made with alligator skin, the Moro Monk is a labor of love. Meticulously put together, these shoes are made to be durable yet soft and comfortable in any weather condition. Testoni also offers an option to add a gold, diamond encrusted buckle.
$100,001 or Greater
432 Park Avenue: Tallest Condo in the World ($95 million+): If you want to feel like a god in NYC, this is the place to do it. With 360 views of the entire city, the price tag is well worth the money in the Big Bad City.
Wallypower 118 Yacht ($33 Million): “The Darth Vader” of yachts, it definitely lives up to its name. It may not be the biggest, but it is definitely one of the slickest and swiftest yachts out there.
Westbury Castle Estate ($8 Million): If you know anyone that has dreamed about owning a castle, now they can all the way across the pond in England.
Mercedes Benz 6×6 ($600,000): Based off the G-Wagon, the Mercedes Benz 6×6 is sure to help you drive in style during the zombie apocalypse.
The Triton 36000 Personal Sub ($15 Million): If one-upping your rich friends isn’t enough, show your worth by gifting a loved one or yourself, a personal sub.
Prevost Featherlite RV ($1 Million+): Built with all the usual amenities you would find in a villa, the Prevost Featherlite RV is as luxurious as it gets. Travel in style and comfort.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse ($2.5 Million): Sold in a two tone black and orange, it is the closet thing to a G6 for the road. If you know anyone with the need for speed, this is something right up their alley.
With winter fast approaching, the bright spring/summer colors are neatly stored away in the closet. On the streets, it’s rare to see the same bright colors. Instead the streets are covered with darker shades of navy, brown, black and gray. If you’re conforming to the colors of the season, you’re simply wearing “street camouflage”. The darker hues of the season while safe, prevent you from making a statement. And if you’re here reading this, then you’re most likely looking for ways to be noticed fashionably.
Breaking the habit of wearing seasonal colors is a rather difficult one. It’s a vicious cycle that rears its ugly head year after year. And if you have trouble dealing with change, taking the step towards brighter colors might be even harder. But this isn’t a call to completely remove seasonal colors from your wardrobe. Those colors should always remain as a staple in every fall/winter ensemble. What I’m suggesting is to mix some bright spring/summer like colors.
So how do you go about adding some color to your setups? Start by turning to your accessories. You can quickly add some bright colors by choosing them when picking out your hats, pocket squares, ties, and socks. So instead of matching your beanie with your shirt or jacket, try a color that adds a bit of contrast to the rest of the outfit. Always being in plain sight, a bright colored hat is more than likely to get noticed first.
With a wide range of colors, patterns and designs, choosing a bright colored tie or bow is another simple way to add a splash of color. Forget about matching it to your pocket square or jacket, and your “street camouflage” of an outfit will thank you for your boldness. Also, try patterns that you’ve never thought to include like paisley, gingham or chambray.
Much like ties, you have a large collection of patterns, colors and designs when picking a pocket square. It is also a cheap and cheerful way to add some “pazazz” to your attire. Just fold it, insert it into your front pocket and watch as eyes from passersby gravitate towards your left chest.
It seems like slacks are getting shorter every season and as they start climbing past your ankles, it leaves that area of your legs exposed to nature. So to prevent that polar vortex from finding its way up through your tapered and shortened slacks, you can easily cover it with colorful socks. Another point of emphasis when others are checking out your style starts below the ankles. So, spice it up with bright colored patterns and styles.
Be careful! As a general rule, you want to keep your outfits simple and minimalistic. So choose only one brightly colored accessory per setup. Adding too many colors with multiple different accessories will just make your ensemble busy and distracting. You want to wow others by staying clean without trying too hard.
The leather accessory is a staple item in the male wardrobe. You probably even have a piece of leather on you right now. Known for its style, robustness, texture and the iconic smell, it adds a unique flavor to many outfits. There are also fans who live and die by this iconic animal skin. Made into different types of accessories (boots, bracelets, wallets and jackets to name a few), the leather fabric remains a timeless fabric that ages well with frequent wears. So if you’re looking to add some leather to your setups, you’ll be happy to know that there is a laundry list of brands to choose from. And if you’re feeling patriotic, you’re in luck. There are many American brands that manufacture their products right here in the US. So, consider these brands.
“Why bother with bright colors and eccentric patterns,” they’ll say. “It only adds busyness to your already busy life,” they’ll advise. I get it, and to each their own. But here at FashionMR we cling to the notion that we all have one life to live and that it should be a blast. So lets embrace new patterns and colors that aren’t considered “safe” or “easy.”
Gingham Reminiscent of a classic picnic table cover, the Gingham is a rather trending shirt pattern. Found in a variety of bright colors, this pattern is perfect for many occasions. And the bright colors make this perfect for adding some modern splash to any outfit. If you’re looking to add some colorful changes to your setup, I suggest you start with these patterns.
Tartan The term itself might not be familiar, but the pattern definitely is. Popular in kilt form and as a Burberry pattern, this pattern isn’t as easy to match as the Gingham. Since most Tartan patterns come with multiple colors, if you plan on finding a color to match with, commit to one color. Your outfit will just look cluttered and busy if you try to match with all the colors.
Dots Dot or polka dot pattern is a minimalistic and classy design. Commonly found in shirts and ties, the size of the dots vary as well. For a more subtle, sophisticated look, the smaller dots are highly recommended. Much like the Gingham pattern, dots are fun to work with. If you prefer traditional and safe colors like black and navy, a shirt with a white dot pattern can add a tasteful amount of flair.
Paisley This next pattern has been around the block and back. And with men’s high end fashion being on the rise, I doubt that it’ll be fading away anytime soon. Quite bold and eccentric in design, the paisley pattern always seems to be saying, “Hey look at me!” When wearing Paisley, try to wear it with solid and darker colors. Doing so will add a bit of contrast to your outfit.
Herringbone Herringbone, much like paisley, is another pattern that keeps returning to the limelight time and time again. A timeless design such as this, deserves a place on our list. Common with shirt, suits, jackets and ties, the Herringbone pattern.
In his posh second floor studio overlooking Bryant Park, designer Nick Graham, creator of Joe Boxer, showcased his upcoming collection of shirts and ties. While all of NYC was enjoying an unusually warm fall, the tables, shelves and hangers inside the studio were adorned with colorful apparel; giving a spring/summer vibe. With this season in mind, Nick developed styles and patterns synonymous with that time of the year. Shirts in different shades of green, blue, yellow, red, gingham and pinstripe patterns were just a few of the items on display. But the event wasn’t all about shirts. The line also showcased bows and ties, in the similar eccentric yet tame designs; funky lobsters, red camo and crossbones to name a few.
The collection is sold as single pieces as well as sets; tie and shirt. Tastefully prepared, they are catered to the consumer who needs a little boost picking colors to match. Style Kits are priced at $99, shirts alone for $69 and bows and ties for $59. You can find the new line at Macy’s or at Nick Graham.
LG setup shop in a second floor studio in the Flatiron District (NYC) for a presentation and demo of their OLED displays. Media and executives congregated in a small showroom with four TVs; two LGs, and two Samsungs.
A brief presentation at the start of the event showcased the progression of LG TVs and its current state. Making comparisons between standard LED and OLED, the LG executive emphasized the importance of OLED technology in TV’s future. The presentation touched up on the progress they were making in regards to releasing newer and larger models.
The difference between standard LED and OLED were pretty obvious. LG’s OLED displayed richer colors with increased vibrancy and saturation. Objects on display seemed sharper and more life-like than the, soon to be antiquated, LED displays. A LG rep even held up a real strawberry to give a better comparison with the one on the screen. On the Samsung side, the colors were flat with a good amount of glare. The LG displays fared well in direct sunlight and against the overhead lights.
To show the difference between the curved OLED TV’s field of view to a standard LED, triangular mats were placed in front of each display symbolizing what you’d see.
It would have been better to see a side-by-side comparison with Samsung’s curved OLED displays. But, we had to settle for their LED lineup. Regardless, in terms of picture quality, design, weight and more importantly price, LG was the winner.
The retail prices for Samsung’s OLED displays are at least two-times more expensive. Coming in at just over $3,000, the LG OLED displays are quite a bargain over their Samsung counterparts.
So it looks like another strange item will be getting the LV pattern treatment. Louis Vuitton along with famed designer Karl Lagerfeld will be celebrating the iconic monogram by releasing a collection of outlandishly expensive luggage and accessories. Along with the collection, all made in the same pattern, LV will also be showcasing a $175,000 monogram punching bag. The package will include punching bag and matching case. So here at FashionMR, we decided to celebrate the famous monogram pattern in our own way; by scouring the Internet for the strangest items bedazzled with the LV pattern.
For the full story and info on all the items and the inspiration behind the new LV collection (not the odd LV items), check it out at Harper’s Bazaar.
If you live in an area with seasons, you are probably picking up all the signs of winter by now; the chilly mornings, leaves changing color, pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks and increased coat presence out on the streets. This is the time to think coats or a form of covering for that thin suit you’re wearing. Some of the choices are pretty obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to get a refresher course on a few warm and chic coat choices.
Overcoat First up, is the traditional overcoat. Classic in design, it is a safe choice for keeping warm and adding layers to your outfit. Commonly found in cashmere and wool, the latter is recommended over the other. The cashmere material is soft to the touch and quite warm, however it isn’t as durable as the wool and rather unappealing when it starts to show wear. If you plan on keeping your overcoat for a prolonged period of time, go with the wool.
Peacoat Made popular by navy sailors, the classic peacoat is a chic choice for a jacket. Worn over a suit, it provides that extra bit of layering and color. Also found in cashmere and wool, the traditional peacoat has large lapels, two adjacent column of buttons and two vertical pockets on opposite sides.
Downvest Worn over the suit, the downvest provides a casual look that is gaining in popularity. Worn over a navy blazer, a brown vest adds a subtle splash of color that is perfect for the fall/winter season.
Duffle Coat With its often cone shaped buckles adorning the front of this jacket, the Duffle Coat is a rather popular choice. But when worn over the coat, it offers that extra bit of warmth, comfort and chic styling. Much like the overcoat and the peacoat, it is an almost timeless design that simply works every fall/winter.
Cape Now this next one isn’t a jacket per se, but it plays a similar role. If you’re thinking of upping your dapper level, a cape over a suit is the answer. Functional and stylish, the cape is sure to turn heads and make an impression for any occasion.
New York based designer Alex Caputo shows off his Spring/Summer 2015 collection at his Hell’s Kitchen studio. Inspired by a recent trip to the island of Bali, Alex provides a tropical flavor full of blues, greens and yellows. The collection consists of a variety of unisex bracelets, belts, bags and other accessories. For this season’s bags, the designer uses strong, waxed canvas coupled with Vachetta leather; known for pleasing patina after some use. They come in messenger, tote and luggage styles; all with South American/Balinese influences. A notable design in this year’s collection is the unique zig-zag pattern; made to symbolize a body of water. The patterns can be found in blue, green, yellow and orange hues throughout Alex’s tote bags, bracelets and belts. Set to land February 2015, find them at Caputo & Co, Barneys, J.Crew, Nordstrom and other retailers.
The doctor’s carryall, physician’s saddle bag or the classic medicine bag was the accessory of choice for traveling doctors as far back as the American Civil War. Commonly made of leather, it held all the essentials needed to perform any basic on-the-field procedure. The physician’s saddle bag, made famous by pop culture, had a rectangular bottom with a tapered top and a set of handles attached to both sides of the opening. A wide, rectangular metal frame around the opening allowed for easy access to the interior compartments. And one or a set of leather straps held both sides of the clamp to fasten it together.
Used more as a tool and less like a fashion accessory, the bag’s rise to fashion fame was due to it’s appearance in movies and TV. Characters like Mary Poppins were seen carrying a floral medicine (or carpet) bag throughout the movie. The gun wielding, tough-as-nails Granny Clampett from the 1962 sitcom “Beverly Hills Hillbillies”, also had one nearby.
The purse like appearance of the medicine bag and its debut on the big screen made it an easy transition from a doctor’s essential accessory to a women’s purse of choice.
Now that murses are more accepted by men, the physician’s bag is fitting in among the other designs. Brands like BillyKirk and Wood & Faulk provide classy and modern designs. Using waterproof, durable canvas and leather, these two brands offer high quality, hand-made goods manufactured here in the USA.
When looking for sartorial inspiration, you have many different sources. From Pinterest to Instagram, the list goes on. Instagram alone has 139,484 posts under #sartorial. And the amount of sites and images dedicated to the sartorial lifestyle are blossoming on Tumblr as well. With its minimalistic and often ad-free environment, Tumblr is an easy choice to get your sartorial fix. Depending on the site, the images are larger as well. So in honor of Tumblr Tuesday, I present to you the top sartorial Tumblrs.
If you’re a frequent browser on Tumblr, it’s no secret that the site is a source for images. Taken from sites and photographers all over the Internet, text based Tumblrs aren’t as common as the image based ones. So, it is quite refreshing to see blogs with wads of text in them. This is where, “Put This On” excels. The writer provide readers with insightful, image rich posts in a digital environment that often focuses on images.
Much like the other sites on the list, “Beyond Fabric” is very sartorial heavy. But unlike the other sites, there is a greater focus on the lifestyle of a sartorialist. With a healthy mix of text and images, Beyond Fabric gives readers a taste of what it means to completely immerse oneself in this culture. So, you’ll see some vintage cars, bikes and environments.
“Your Style Men,” is another one of those sites that offer a collection of sartorially rich content. Organized in a grid-like pattern, the layout efficiently packs content per loaded page. The images are rather choosy. If you’re looking to be inspired sartorially, this is a site worthy of taking up space in your favorites list.
Another great website, “Aggressively Sartorial” follows a minimalistic formula. The options to like, share, reblog or zoom are cleverly hidden only to be revealed when moving the cursor over the image. The site is set to continuously load past content, so you get more photographic goodness before having to wait for new images to load.
This last one deserves high marks for content and layout. The layout provides viewers with a minimalistic view, quite common on Tumblr. And by sharing one decently sized image per post, readers can focus on one special image at a time. It’s an image packed blog that definitely warrants a look.
Being just under your neck, the shirt collar plays a major role in the look and feel of your outfit. The right one can give you a splash of class and sophistication, and the wrong one can make you seem tacky, tasteless and rather lazy. Shirt collars come in a variety of colors, styles and shapes. It can be a daunting task to choose the right one for your collection of outfits. While I can’t help you pick the right collar for you, I can make you a bit more knowledgeable when choosing your next one.
This type of collar design is continuously growing in popularity. Finding its way to more and more suit setups, the Spread is trending. The traditional Spread, unlike the popular and traditional point collar, has collar points that rest further apart from each other. This allows the wearers to try diverse and often thicker tie knots like the eldredge and trinity. But beware men with round faces, this type of collar is known to further accentuate the face.
While traditional in style, it is a timeless style that remains a safe choice amongst the more eccentric and trending designs. This collar comes in at different styles as well. The button down point collar is no different from the traditional except that it has a button at the tip of the collar point. This allows you to fasten it to the shirt itself. The second style is the narrow point collar. In this design, the collar points are taller and closer together, making it suitable for skinny ties. It is also the right design for men with rounded faces. The narrow point collar gives the illusion that the head is slimmer than it actually looks.
The Club or Eton Collar harks back to a time when suits and derby hats were common place. A product of the early 20th century, the Club has rounded collar points and work well with traditional ties coupled with a collar pin. However, it is more on the snappy side of collars, so it may not work for wearers who are looking for a more discreet yet stylish look. Sorry men with round, curvy faces, this is also not a style for you. Much like the spread, it gives off the same undesirable look.
Traditionally found on tuxedo shirts, the Wing or Wing Tip collar is finding its way onto more traditional shirts. However, it is still a style meant for a gala or a black tie event. Often worn with a cut-away coat and a bow tie, the collar points are tucked behind the bow. If you are a fan of bow ties and like to make a statement everywhere you go, the Wing Tip should be something right up your alley.
Mandarin Collar While the Mandarin is on the more eccentric spectrum of collar designs, it is worth mentioning due to its rarity and unique design. Taken from Imperial China, the Mandarin seems like something a bond villain would wear. But, it is also a design worn by tux wearers. For the more attention conscious man, make sure you couple a Mandarin with a matching Mandarin Collar coat to complete the look.
My love affair with the international man of mystery started with GoldenEye. Enjoying replays of the movie and basement matches on the N64, this infatuation continued throughout college where I spent hours watching every Bond film from Dr. No to Skyfall. And in every film, Bond’s mannerisms and suits were a common sight. But, to the pimple faced pre-20s self it was just another star in a suit. It was the car chase scenes and fist fights in lethal situations that tickled my fancy, the rest was irrelevant.
But, spending time in the fashion industry changes you. Your taste and eye for the finer side of men’s fashion turns your attention to the outfits the character’s wear.
While re-watching some of the more memorable movies in the Bond lineup, I turned my attention away from Bond and took a look at what the baddies wore. My research resulted in a collection of villains with a variety of selective and rather dynamic outfits that added that extra bit of menace. Some of the villains’ outfits were colorful and unassuming and others were dark and forceful. And this attraction for evil outfits started with the most pleasant yet menacing baddie of them all, Tiago Rodriguez; better known as Raol Silva.
Silva Played by Javier Bardem in the most recent Bond film, Skyfall, Silva is a heavily damaged ex-Mi6 agent with a taste for revenge. Best known for his sinister monologues and conversations with Bond and M, Silva’s getups compliment his blond hair. In the server room scene where Bond is tied to a chair, he is sporting a brown checkered shirt worn under a solid brown vest, matching pants and brown shoes. To complete the look, he wears a khaki coat over it all. The coat has sloping shoulders, two buttons in the front and four buttons on the sleeves; providing a modern look for a modern villain.
Le Chiffre Next on the list of best dressed villains is the scared, poker face Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen in the movie Casino Royale. He is usually seen in a black shirt and black suit; fitting of his intimidating and sinister appearance throughout the film. The look is rather simple and devoid of any flair or color, but it deserves high marks for how well it emphasizes his outward appearance.
Francisco Scaramanga Made famous by Christopher Lee in the film Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga plays an high-priced assassin with a love for cool, southern outfits. Sporting a calm demeanor, his white suit seen throughout the film seems a bit dated. It has three buttons in the front (all buttoned), a shorter and wider lapel, loose sleeves and is longer than most coats. Even though the look may be tacky, it adds that extra bit of flair and swagger to Lee’s character.
Franz Sanchez Seen in the film License to Kill, Sanchez (Robert Davi), is a leader of a powerful drug cartel with a strong grip on the fictional Republic of Isthmus. Reminiscent of Al Pacino’s character in Scarface, this cigar smoking drug lord is seen wearing light summer colors. White and light navy suits are common in Sanchez’s wardrobe. His light colored outfits and smooth mannerisms make him the perfect villain from South America.
Dr. Julius No The first villain in the Bond series, Dr. Julius No is part of the mysterious group known as Spectre. Portrayed by Joesph Wiseman, he is often seen wearing a white Mandarin shirt and matching coat. Born from German and Chinese parents, the Mandarin outfit plays a key part in showcasing the Chinese side of his two part ethnicity. His hands crossed behind his back, Dr. No, along with his Mandarin suit, gives the appearance that he is wise beyond his years.
In this country of extravagance and excess, it’s easy to find an expensive, over-the-top pair of shoes. The recipe is rather simple. First, find a pair of high quality shoes. Then, cover it in expensive metals (preferably gold, silver or platinum). Lastly, take a handful of high carat diamonds, paste it all over the shoes and slap a high price tag on it.
But truly expensive pair of shoes are made with love, passion and a healthy dose of quality; not a pair of loafers covered with 24 carat diamonds (Nick C. I’m talking to you). Often made by luxury brands like Salvatore Ferragamo or Louis Vuitton, the prices rarely exceed $10,000. But, they are tastefully designed and sold at a price that will make you feel like you just got your money’s worth. Some designs may have some gold or diamonds, but they are subtle and difficult to spot from a distance.
Moro Monk Strap by A. Testoni $38,000 Made with alligator skin, the Moro Monk is a labor of love. Meticulously put together, these shoes are made to be durable yet soft and comfortable in any weather condition. Testoni also offers an option to add a gold, diamond encrusted buckle.
Manhattan Richelieu by Louis Vuitton $10,000 Also made from alligator skin, Manhattan Richelieu is put together using complex stitching methods and subtle designs expected from a $10,000 pair of shoes. It even comes with a discrete LV badge on the side of the shoe.
Stefano Bemer Bespoke Shoes
$3,000 If you are looking for a pair of shoes made just for your spoiled feet, Stefano Bemer bespoke shoes should be your first choice. Taking about 4 weeks to put together, each pair is specially built to match every curve on your feet. Customers can choose hides from a large collection of common and exotic animals (sting-ray and hippopotamus being just a few).
Aubercy $2000-$3000 Aubercy is a family owned, high-end shoe brand based in Paris. Much like Stefano Bemer, they offer bespoke services to perfectly match the customers feet. With impeccable craftsmanship and dedication to absolute perfection, these shoes will mostly require a kidney or two.
Rapiécés Reprisés by Berluti $1900 Put together with supple and high quality leather and inspired by Andy Warhol, Rapiécés Reprisés are for the gentleman committed to the high style. The shoes are made with complex stitching methods and finished with great scrutiny. Made in small quantities, they are truly a symbol of status.
On a busy Labor Day in Little Italy, I went looking for street art on Mulberry street, between Kenmare and Canal. Wiping some dust off of my Polaroid SX-70, I took it out into the humid air with a fresh pack of Impossible Project’s color film loaded up. It seemed appropriate to use a historic camera at such a historic location. The place was packed with tourists and locals, so finding murals hidden amongst outdoor restaurant tables and umbrellas was quite the chore. It wasn’t until I came across a fenced empty lot between Hester and Canal, I started to get a glimpse of some of the art I was actually looking for. Ron English’s now popular “Temper Tot” a.k.a “Baby Hulk” stood on a side facade in all its glory. And on the other side of the lot was “MonaLister” by Anthony Lister (shown above).
These works of street art is the result of the L.I.S.A Project, an acronym for “Little Italy Street Art”. Almost three years old, this project invites street and pop artists from all over the world to the culture and history heavy Mulberry street. Founded by Wayne Rada and RJ Rushmore of vandalog.com, their artistic influence spreads beyond Mulberry to the surrounding streets.
When planning a tour of the street art in the area, carefully schedule your visits. Trips to the area during peak hours will make it difficult to capture the whole piece without the occasional and unintentional photo bombing by passing pedestrians.
If you’re traveling south on Mulberry, don’t forget to check out Solus’s mural (or what’s left of it) near the corner of the intersection shared with Kenmare street. Much of the original mural is now covered by a newsstand from Mulberry Iconic Magazines, but you can still enjoy the mural. This piece titled, “Punch Above Your Weight”, is a tribute to Irish and Italian immigrants.
A bit further down the street before the corner of Broome and Mulberry is a delicious looking mural by Buff Monster. Due to its colorful and comical nature, it is rather easy to spot.
Just across the street at Caffe Roma is a colorful interpretation of “Audrey Hepburn” by artist Tristan Eaton. Found on the Mulberry side of the building, it is wedged between the side entrance to a cafe and an ATM. During peak hours it is usually covered by tables and seats, but you can still get a good look at it.
After crossing Hester street, you’ll see the mural titled “Jerk of Steel” by artist Jerkface painted on a door between Giovanna’s and Anthony Shops.
The final mural I find worthy of immortalizing on an expensive piece of Polaroid film is another piece by Tristan Eaton titled “Liberty.” It can be found on the side facade of the building Cha Cha’s which, Boca Al Lupo is in. If that doesn’t help, look for the Most Precious Blood church. The art piece is found directly on the right side.
There are a handful of murals that are not mentioned. That is due to running out of Polaroid film and local businesses covering the art. Still, every piece is worth checking out. So, get your ass down to Little Italy, enjoy a cannoli at Caffe Palermo and check out the art on almost every corner.
In honor of that special thematic day that arrives every Thursday (Throwback Thursday for those not familiar), we’re celebrating the casual suit that took the 70s by storm. Synonymous with the Hustle and disco clubs throughout America, the Leisure suit was the staple of the times.
It started out as a sign of rebellion. Breaking from the more traditional and well established black suit, the youth, during the first half of the 20th century embraced this comfortable, often loose fitting getup. The popular fabric for most Leisure Suits was polyester. Invented in the 1940s, the polyester suit gained its popularity in the UK. A few decades later in the 70s, Lee Jeans brought the trend to America by calling them “Lee-sure” suits. The “look” was a combination of a suit shirt (suit jacket that looks like a shirt) and matching pants. They were also designed in a variety of different colors and styles.
Some Leisure Suits were made with large lapels and enormous front pockets. The suits were also matched with colorful polyester shirts that had massive collar points. Bell bottoms was also the must have design to complete the look.
While the look is now just a memory, it lives on as a memory for those who hustled their way through that era. The Leisure Suit often reappears in pop culture, film and Halloween costume shops; further emphasizing its significance to American culture.
Unless you’re a skilled artisan that makes his own clothes, you’ve probably had an awkward encounter with a stranger wearing the same outfit. The style-less, juvenile self won’t mind, but you’re no longer that guy. You now have more sense than that. Situations like this now phase you, leaving a bad taste and that sinking feeling that your wardrobe is inadequate. In a world of overly done rice rockets, rhinestone covered denim jackets and flimsy iPhone cases, the next logical step to standing out is to accessorize your outfits. Bags, watches, ties, cuff links and hats are just some of your run of the mill conventional choices. They will help you add a personal touch to your outfits, but you can also make waves using some of these unconventional choices.
Minimalistic Single/Fixed Gear Bicycle
Not all fashion accessories are slung on a shoulder or worn around the neck. This accessory is of the sitting variety, and probably the most utilitarian option. But, be very careful about choosing the bike’s color scheme. If the colors are too bright you just might find yourself in hipsterville. Single speed setups with a healthy mix of chrome and leather give the bike a more vintage look. When choosing a frame color, traditional colors like navy, black and grey are always welcomed and safe choices. But bolder options like olive green, cream white, and teal work equally well with a healthy pairing of chrome and leather.
Vintage Film Camera
Disclaimer: For this next accessory, it helps if you are a photography enthusiast. So, feel free to skip this one if you think a vintage camera only adds strain or arrogance to your neck.
Most camera snobs know and believe that the most quality and “built-to-last” cameras were made pre-80s; before the dawn of cheaply made plastic monstrosities. The prime example amongst a laundry list of cameras is the German made Leica Rangefinder camera. These German made beauties of brass, metal and leather are known for their photographic pedigree and reputation for quality. Adorned in front of any clothing ensemble with a matching neck strap, is sure to add a level of sophistication.
While not quite an unconventional accessory, it doesn’t get enough consideration for how stylish and useful they are. A quality pen, ball point or fountain, provides that extra splash of class and sophistication. Whether it’s a Mont Blanc, Aurora or Cartíer pen, it deserves a permanent place in the front coat or shirt pocket.
A rather simple accessory, the lapel pin is a cheap and cheerful way to add flare to your outfit. Whether you plan to match it with your tie or pocket square, the lapel pin is another accessory that doesn’t receive much recognition (popularity on the rise).
The Clutch Bag
Yes, It is technically a bag, but the clutch bag is often free of shoulder straps. Designed to carry the bare essentials, the name explains how it should be carried; held up at the pits or clutched between your arm and torso. The bag usually comes coupled with a leather strap and made to carry a smartphone, wallet and at times some essential toiletries.
Designed to hold the collars together and to accentuate the knot portion of the tie, collar pins are growing in popularity among shirt wearers. It is usually tucked away and out of sight, but it adds a subtle flair to any outfit it’s paired with. The ends of the pin also come in a variety of different designs, adding extra style to your collar.
Land of the Rising Sun, Nihon, Nippon, Japon or what ever you like to call it, export more than just Playstations, Toyotas and Cameras. Unless you’ve been living in complete isolation, it’s no secret that this small island nation is at the forefront of Asian fashion. Brands like A Bathing Ape, Uniqlo, and Yohji Yamamoto are making their mark on the American fashion scene, and the market is ripe for more Japanese designed goods. Dedicated fans of Japanese couture continue to salivate over new collections from brands like Comme des Garçons and Visvim. Lines wrap around stores with most big releases and consumers don’t shy away from the outlandish amount of cash-money needed to buy them. And it’s not just the clothes that fans go gaga over, it’s the accessories, especially bags, that draw a significant amount of attention; notably high-end brands like Headporter.
Established in 2012, these fairly small accessory makers pride themselves on designing and manufacturing simple, stylish, unique and quality bags. masterpiece has a growing collection of bags ranging from casual totes to rugged rucksacks. Handmade near Osaka, Japan, every gear in their collection oozes quality.
While not quite Japanese, North Face Purple Label is a branch of North Face established in collaboration with a active lifestyle brand Nanamica. For this reason many of their collections are manufactured in limited quantities and often difficult to find outside of Japan (there is a small collection at Rakuten Global however). With an eye-catching twist on the original logo, many of their items are designed using unconventional patterns and colors; giving it unique look.
Inspired by the Depression era wanderer, Hobo (not to be confused with the US bag maker Hobo International) is a Tokyo bag maker that provides a collection of practical, unique and stylish bags. Their collection ranges from totes to fannypacks and even wrist swag. Much like North Face Purple Label, it is rather difficult to buy outside of Japan without a proxy.
Bag ‘n’ Noun offers a large variety of wears from messenger bags to wallets. Many of the bags use earthy, springtone colors to be worn in all kinds of settings. While somewhat obscure, Bag ‘n’ Noun can actually be found outside of Japan (notably in European online shops); you just have to do some searching.
With about 40 years of manufacturing and design under their belt, Arai Tent is a seller of high-end camping equipment. Rugged and durable outdoor equipment is their bread and butter. The brand offers everything from hiking bags to boots; all designed with a minimalistic theme. Arai Tent also makes formal to casual totes, rucksacks and daypacks in the Persimmon collection.
Whether you’re in NYC for business or pleasure, not having the time to enjoy the sites or shop is a point of concern. And in a city full of boutiques and pop-up shops, a brief search of local men’s fashion shops can turn into a time consuming endeavor. You can choose to go down the list and visit every brick-and-mortar spanning all five NYC boroughs. This can be a worthwhile endeavor, but far from rational. So whether your stay is 24 hours or 72 hours, take the time to visit one if not all the shops mentioned below.
Even at first glance, Robert James’s work screams passion and quality. Located in NYC’s Lower East Side, By Robert James is a boutique shop that offers a vintage 70’s flair to the stylish gent. Designed just upstairs from the store and manufactured locally, the store carries items ranging from shirts, jackets, pants and even bespoke services.
Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Fine and Dandy carries a comprehensive collection of dapper accessories. If you’re shopping for ties, pocket squares or socks, it can be found in this store. Keeping to the vintage theme of the store, Fine and Dandy sells vintage memorabilia and accessories from board games, greeting cards, to flasks.
Making his mark in the fashion world as early as 1998, Billy Reid designs and sells goods for male and female customers. With a splash of southern styling, his collection ranges from formal wear to more casual outfits like chinos and polos.
Established in 2007, founders Daniel and Brenna Lewis are taking a piece of the dapper style cake. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the shop offers bespoke services as well as made to order items ranging from formal and casual suits to shirts and shoes; making it a one-stop-shop for all formal men’s wear.
Founded by graphic designer Ouigi Theodore, Brooklyn Circus provides outfits for the classy, urban gentleman. Along with a healthy mix of vintage stylings, this boutique shop offers a diverse collection of hats, shirts, jackets and shoes. And much like the other shops in this collection, the consumer is welcomed with a vintage motif that extends all the way outside. So, it’s highly recommended that you go for the products and stay for the ambience.
Picture this: the smell of burgers and franks on an open grill, sound of kids playing in the pool and the bang of fireworks bursting over the East River. Yes, the big bad city is getting into the July 4th state of mind. You can choose to participate in the traditional, patriotic festivities this weekend, or find other ways to add some spark to your weekend. If you’re leaning towards the latter, here are some events to consider.
Brooklynite vendors seasonally congregate to this location to showcase their vintage, antique and handmade goods. So, shop around this July 4th. Who knows, you may find that “diamond in the rough” vintage rocking chair you always wanted.
Meatlovers rejoice! The Iron Horse is hosting yet another pig roast. This downtown bar is closing the street for a block party. Come hungry this weekend and be ready to gorge on some free burgers and dogs.
The best way to enjoy your brew this weekend is with a colossal pubcrawl. Jump from one watering hole to the next, while indulging in your favorite brews. So bring your friends and family and go nuts this July 4th! It’s America’s birthday!
Fan of obscure indie films? Rooftop Films will be screening “The Notorious Mr. Bout” on the roof or the courtyard of the Old American Can Factory along with live music, Q&A with the directors and an afterparty. If the movie isn’t to your liking, sneak a view of the local surrounding. After all you’re on a roof.
Fancying a pleasant environment with a scenic view of the city? Spend your July 4th at the Sky Room. This elegant rooftop lounge in Hell’s Kitchen is NYC’s highest rooftop lounge. With a great view of the fireworks, a 4 hour open bar and a buffet, this is not a location to pass up.
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