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Board Shorts or Shorts?

Image Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Image Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Over the past five years, men’s fashion has grown into an industry in itself.  Sure men have always needed clothes, but men’s fashion has never been as mainstream as it is today.  Today’s dapper gent incorporates the latest trends into almost every aspect of his wardrobe, including swimwear.  Because the line between men’s swimwear and everyday apparel has become so fine, some guys are rocking board shorts as everyday apparel.

Based on their styles, some swimsuits could pass as regular, land-loving shorts.  Swimsuit manufacturers have designed polyester blends that wick water away just as well the swimsuits of yesteryear, just without the bulk.  The lightweight materials aren’t awkwardly shiny like they used to be.

Swimsuit retailers, like Pacific Sunwear, sell many different styles of what they call “hybrid shorts,” which incorporate the fast wicking material and lightweight feel common to board shorts, while still looking like a pair of shorts on first glance.

We’re not suggesting hybrid shorts are a replacement for traditional bottoms, but hybrid shorts are perfect for your next beach day. They can easily transition from the beach to the bar so no more worrying about having a complete outfit change. Just throw a button-down shirt with a pair of Sperry’s in your beach bag, and you’re ready to hit the bar after a long day of fun in the sun.



Don’t Let Trends Take Over Your Wardrobe!

Image Courtesy of H&M's virtual fitting room.

Image Courtesy of H&M's virtual fitting room.

Bright colors are the go-to trend of the season, but as with any sizzling hot fad, they burn out as fast as they blow up.  The colors are a lot of fun, but everyone’s wearing them, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

I like to incorporate the latest trends with my own style to create a unique look, otherwise my friends and I would look like we’re straight out of a Gap catalog.  Trends are a great way to spice up your wardrobe from season to season, but they shouldn’t dictate fashion choices.

Earlier this season like every other season, J.Crew released their 9″ Stanton short in a wide array of colors, my favorite being their dusty berry.  Salmon shorts have been a J.Crew staple for eternity the past few spring/summer lines, but salmon and coral are hot in all stores this spring. The key is to wear them as the focal point of the outfit’s color palate.  I pair my colored shorts with a simple black deep v-neck and creme shaw collar sweater for chilly mornings because the black shirt doesn’t take away from the main color trend, but it still makes a statement in the outfit as a whole.

The v-neck shows a little skin, a little muscle, and ideally a little chest hair a little tan, all without distracting from the color of the shorts.  It turns the simple, yet sophisticated shorts and sweater outfit (or shirt and shorts on hot days) into a sexy, fun day-out outfit.

We love using pieces to accent others in order to create a mood.  Like perfume with its various notes, outfits must be designed so the various pieces compliment one another to match your personal style.  Mine screams gay club meets the Hamptons, sexy and flashy, yet sophisticated and well groomed.

Play around with the latest and greatest styles and think about ways to work them in to things you already have.  Trends are simply what’s hot now -they are not laws.  Just because something is hot, doesn’t mean it should actually be worn, cough jellies cough.



Clothing Options For the ‘Little Guy’…

Ladies have it so easy when it comes to fashion.

The industry basically caters to women of all shapes and sizes. There are stores dedicated only to plus and petite sizes, but men aren’t as lucky.  There are some places for big and tall, but nothing for the more vertically challenged men.

Being short isn’t a crime!

The New York Times Style Blog just wrote a raving article about Petter Manning New York, a clothing line designed specifically for men 5′ 8″ and shorter.  According to the article, Manning was sick of constantly having everything he bought off the rack tailored, so he took matters into his own hands and designed his line.

I clicked over to the site to see what his clothes look like….except there’s virtually no inventory.  He only sells one style of t-shirt, polo and weekend shirt available in five colors.  His sweaters, chinos, and shorts are only available in two different colors, all with the same style. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very reminiscent of J.Crew’s classy, yet casual look. But a little more variety would be appreciated.peter manning polo

So after picking your shirts color, the Peter Manning online store has it’s own sizing system.  Shirts and sweaters are marked one to five, one being the smallest size and five being the largest.  Pants start at 26″ wide by 27″ long, and the 27″ inseam is available through a 34″ waist.

Peter Manning is the first store I’ve seen to carry a 27″ inseam, a definite plus for any vertically challenged guy.

While I’m all for anything that gives men more access to fashion, there isn’t a large enough selection to be a beacon of petite men’s fashion.  The line is targeting younger, vertically challenged stylish men–like they’re not already going to have a pair of chinos and polos to match?

Like I said, I’m really excited that men’s fashion is blossoming into a niche industry, but we still have a long way to go.



Dear Fashionably Challenged Men….

SloppyDressMan_crop380wAs many of you may know, it’s spring break time right now, which means boarding the next flight to a tropical destination for a week of doing absolutely nothing on a beach with a drink in hand. I ended up in Hawaii with almost no internet connection, needless to say it was one of the greatest weeks of my life.

Unfortunately, I had one of the most eye opening experiences of my life in my thirty collective hours spent at the airport. Men’s fashion is SEVERELY lacking. I’m not saying everyone has to be dressed like a model walking down the runway at New York Fashion Week, but there’s a difference between putting together a nice outfit with the materials at hand and throwing something on.

In my travels I noticed, the women were dressed significantly better than the men. Some women trekked through the terminals in heels, an incredibly brave act, while others preferred chic flats paired with a pair of jeans, sweater and basic shirt underneath. While still comfortable, the outfit was incredibly practical because sometimes planes are like a sauna soaring through the air, while other times they’re like an icebox. It was nice to see that some planned outfits with comfort and practicality in mind.

On the other hand, the men at the airport were dressed like they just rolled out of bed. I saw so many college age men wearing ripped shirts, basketball shorts and Jordan sandals. Wut? Even grown men were dressed like slobs. There were the occasional suit clad businessmen, but I didn’t see one suit fitted properly. Even a relatively inexpensive suit will shine like a million bucks with a simple tailoring job.

I’m not saying everyone has to be completely decked out in the latest couture from the high fashion houses, but with all of the recent hot upcoming trends in men’s fashion like pastel colors and slim fitted apparel, I was incredibly excited to see how many men embraced fashion in their professional and personal lives. Throughout the course of my trip, I saw two fashionable men. One had a perfectly pressed button down shirt that looked almost expertly tailored, pressed and cuffed jeans, and a pair of beautiful vintage Ray-Bans. I almost gave him the official Mark seal of approval, but it was early in the morning, and I was way too hungover for that. The other had a perfectly tailored blazer atop a sweater and pair of khaki pants. The outfit was casual yet classy.

My intention is not to berate people for not dressing like fashionistas all the time, I’m just asking that men be more aware of fashion trends and incorporate them into their wardrobe. While personal style gives one the freedom to dress however they like, I’d really like to see more people embrace fashion in their day-to-day lives. Your attire says a lot about who you are as a person; do you want your outfit to say “Hi, I’m Mark and I’ve given up on life because I’m wearing a leisure suit to the airport?”



David Beckham Bodywear

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Those who watched the Superbowl for the commercials were pleasantly surprised by the commercial for David Beckham Bodywear line for H&M in which basically we got to see him in a pair of boxer-briefs.

Daaamnn.

But while the commercial was a delight, I wondered how the actual line stacks up. So I went online and peeked at the selection.  Given the Beckham name, I was expecting a designer collaboration more like the Versace underwear line with it’s flamboyant colors and sexy inseams.  What I got looked like I raided my grandfather’s underwear drawer.  I expected some color sprinkled in the line, but the only options are black, white, and gray on boxer briefs, briefs, long underwear, tank tops, and Henleys.  There aren’t any crazy designs or any athletic, sexy fits, just a basic underwear line.  For a pair of underwear starting at $14.95, I want it to look different than a pair of Hanes.  I want something a little more sexy, or a little more distinct to say the least.

The tank tops and Henleys look comfortable and perfect for a workout or bed, respectively, but there’s nothing different than a pack of Fruit of the Loom undershirts. Designer collaborations in the past have been very exciting, I loved the gaudy nature of Versace for H&M, but I have to say I’m pretty disappointed with the line.  There isn’t anything special about it, and I really hope this isn’t a sign of what’s to come for future designer collaborations.

In other news, I will be covering Carmelita Couture’s runway show in NY Fashion Week on Tuesday.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see Carmelita’s designs in the past, and they never cease to impress.



Roaring! A 1920s Event was Nothing Short of Spectacular.

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Roaring! A 1920s Event was hosted by Noel Zayas Events in the gorgeous Arts Ballroom on Juniper and Locust streets.  In addition to the fashion, there was an art exhibit throughout the venue that gave a taste of a modern take on 1920s art.  The event officially started at 9 p.m. with cabaret performers beautifully belting out their ballads.

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Maci Miller’s loud and proud voice warmly filled an intimate sitting room where attendees could enjoy a glass of wine and a performance.  Her cheetah dress, designed by Philly’s own Carmelita Couture, was the cat’s meow.  Prrrrrrrr.

In the main ballroom, the open bar and house music created a great atmosphere for socializing as excitement grew for the fashion show.  The female models were dressed in Priscilla Costa’s designs accompanied by Joan Shepp and the Fur Vault by Macy’s. Naturally, everything was a modern take on the 1920s.

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Priscilla Costa’s satin a-symmetrical dress would go perfectly with a finger curl and a dark red lip.

Dresses were very sleek and sexy but not boring.

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Is it just me, or does this look like something Julius Caesar would wear?

The etherial white dress was sexy and sophisticated at the same time. Tres Chic.

I’m not quite sure how grandmother’s housecoat fit in the show…

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Priscilla also incorporated a modern take on the flapper girl with her knee length dresses.

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I’m not quite sure why they make trash bags in satin, or why she’s wearing one. Fortunately, her look is very 1920s.

The women’s fashion was clearly 1920s inspired, unfortunately the same can’t be said for the men’s.  The men’s fashion, Provided by Macy’s, seemed like something thrown together at the last minute.  While I can see how the outfits were inspired by the time period, they seemed drab compared to the lavish women’s collection.

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I always like to start with the best, and I loved this outfit.  Grey suits are the perfect ensemble for almost any occasion.

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I love my dogs too, but I wouldn’t embroider them on my pants.

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Velour jackets? What? That’s still a thing?

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Velour pants? Really? From the waist up, I thought this outfit was pretty cool though.

Overall, it was interesting to see a night of 1920s culture, and who doesn’t love a good themed party? I definitely recommend going should there be another one because the event was incredibly well put together.  I always say the proof is in the details, and it seemed like Noel Zayas kept that in mind when planning his event.



Don’t Judge Versace for H&M by the Lookbook

The Versace for H&M collection has been receiving mixed press lately.  Some people love the bright colors and bold patterns, while others say its gaudy and over the top.  Last Friday, Abigail wrote about the H&M line, and I agree some of the pictures are pretty scary.  The question is, how often do you dress head to toe in one print?  Unless you’re in Boca in the 1980s, almost never.  With that in mind, some of the pieces in the collection will make an outfit pop.

Versace for H&M Men's Pink Suit

Almost all my outfits incorporate mostly subdued colors with a splash of something bright to bring everything together, so when I saw the pink Versace suit, I almost died.  I can’t think of anywhere to wear a completely pink suit, but throw on the pink blazer overtop a black dress shirt, white tie, black oxfords and black dress pants and you have the perfect staple piece to go from the office to the club.

Versace-HM-9I love Donatella’s pink dress shoes because the color makes them an accessory.  Girls have it easy when picking accessories, but it’s a lot harder for guys.  Girls can center their outfit around one piece of jewelry or a hair style, but not all men have that luxury.  As a result, we have to get creative with the pieces we incorporate into our outfits.  The bright pink shoes could be that little splash of color that pulls the outfit together.

Versace for HM slim fit dress pants

Although the Versace for H&M collection has some flashy outfit choices, it also incorporates traditional pieces with a modern spin.  Almost every department store has a line of men’s dress pants, but very few are a slim fit, like those of Donatella’s line.  Even if a store sold similar pieces, the prices would be significantly higher than those of the H&M collection.  For $69.95, I would buy her slim fit dress pants in a heartbeat.

Versace for H&M is an awesome opportunity for people to enjoy high fashion, even on a tight budget.  Being a broke college student, I can’t buy the clothes I want to wear until my birthday and christmas.  Designer collaborations with other stores have allowed me to expand my wardrobe and still buy books.  When the line hits H&M stores, I’m not going to be bragging about my new Versace blazer because I won’t have to.  It’s the same color as my highlighter, and that grabs attention, right?



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