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Deron Hogans, Online Fashion Editor

    3 Ways to Wear Plaid This Fall

    wear plaid, how to wear plaid, plaid pants, plaid suits

    How to Wear Plaid This Fall

    Plaid has surged back to the forefront of fashion for men. Plaid was a go-to power look for stylish men in the 1970’s. But the often ridiculous plaid trends that followed made plaid patterns a frightful sight until now. What was once the go-to pattern for punk rockers, faux lumberjacks and techies has returned to its place in dandy excellence. Here are three ways you should wear plaid this fall and winter:

    Wear Plaid as The Suit

    Glen Plaid. Prince of Wales.  Window Pane. If these terms are unfamiliar to you when discussing suits, you’ve failed in your quest for sartorial success. Yes, solid greys and navy blues are acceptable in any and every setting. But why be bland when you can be bold? Plaid wool suits like this one (shown above) from D.C.-area bespoke tailor Dash’s of Old Town can inject an air of regalness and distinction into your look this season.

    Wear Plaid as The Shacket

    Is it a shirt? No, it’s a jacket. Wait, it’s a shirt and a jacket. It’s a shacket or a carry-over from heritage trends true to outdoorsmen and hunting lore.  The plaid flannel shirt/jacket can be worn as a base layer in colder weather. Another way to wear plaid is as an outer layer in mild yet breezy conditions. Buffalo or checker print plaid is a marquee pattern for FW14. Kanye West collaborator, Virgil Abloh, has eloquently produced a wearable shacket for the season.

    wear plaid, how to wear plaid, plaid shirts, plaid pants

    Wear Plaid as The Flannel Trouser

    Adaptability and versatility are keys to sartorial success in the fall and winter months. It’s the time of year where the daytime temperature may be quite comfortable with a chilled breeze. But the evening brings in a fierce, bitter cold. Protect your legs. Fend off the late year cool with some cool of your own. Invest in a pair of plaid flannel trousers like these from Tommy Hilfiger. Pair your trousers with a wool blazer and become the king of fall.

    wear plaid, how to wear plaid, plaid shirts, plaid pants

     

     

    What’s your favorite way to wear plaid? Tell us below or tag us in your plaid look on Facebook.

    Prospekt Supply: Hip Winter Coats for Men

    winter coates for men, winter coats, menswear

    Hip Winter Coats for Men

     

    Every craftsman masters a special skill. Architects, plumbers, and stonemasons are all creators and builders. The menswear designer is yet another craftsman who masterfully oversees the production of men’s fashion and apparel, from inception to the finished product. Though a designer’s product lines may include a wide array of pieces and accessories, the menswear designer tends to be the best at one particular item of clothing before moving on to other things. Brooks Brothers collectively perfected and put their stamp on what we’ve come to know as the “ready-made” or off-the-rack suits. A young entrepreneur by the name of Ralph Lifshitz, or better to known to you and me as Ralph Lauren, made his mark with neckties. But he would later give the world the infamous Polo shirt. Alexander Wang redefined the simple tee and elevated it to something more than a layering piece.

    Up-and-coming menswear brand, Prospekt Supply, is following the footsteps of their predecessors. They are choosing to focus on perfecting one piece rather than working with scattered minds as a jack of all trades. Prospekt Supply has a unique position in menswear, choosing the anorak, or parka jacket, as its staple piece. They firmly believe that it starts with looking at who the person could be. Then they create those contemporary pieces with consideration to who a person can become, rather than who they are. Add the fact that they use the most kickass fabrics like navy pinstripe suiting, water-resistant technical shells, cotton twills and lambskin. All the fabrics that hip, cool and modern guys want in winter coats for men. Lookbooks for SS 2015 tease us with a wider offering including tops, bottoms and more. But for me, the Prospekt Supply anorak stands out as the flagship piece for a brand and stands to distinguish the brand from all of the other contenders. The anorak has been a favorite style of winter coats for men.

    Here are a few of Prospekt Supply’s best offerings, perfect winter coats for men that are suitable for the fall:

    winter coates for men, winter coats, menswear

    The Natural Cotton Canvas Pullover is elegant and functional. Cover up like a gentlemen in the fall nights.

     

    winter coates for men, winter coats, menswear

    Who said you couldn’t be rugged and regal? This Tan Cotton Moleskin Pullover encompasses it all.

    winter coates for men, winter coats, menswear

    Add a bit more texture to your form with this tonal Desert Cotton Twill Full-Zip

     

     

     

     

    Images from Prospekt Supply website

    Hall of Fame (HOF): Streetwear and Sports Collide on Rosewood

    streetwear, luxury streetwear, street style, menswear

    Hall of Fame (HOF): Streetwear and Sports Collide on Rosewood

    What do you see in every rap music video from the late 1980’s and 1990’s? Rappers are performing their songs alongside their large entourages. Beautiful women are dancing, and there may be a luxury car or wide shot of the artist’s neighborhood. Now, take a look at the fashion. The percussive poets are wearing gold jewelry with their designer clothes and sporting the most exclusive sneakers and footwear. The short musical films are bright and colorful, representative of the Hip Hop culture that inspired them. One thing you will find in every rap music video from that era is streetwear mixed with sportswear: NBA jerseys, MLB hats, NFL crew necks and more. There is a lot to be said about the connection between Hip Hop-inspired street culture and sports, with the artists who move the culture aspiring for the fame of sports legends and athletes longing to be the artists they listen to. When street and sports culture meet at the crossroads of fashion, we get LA-based streetwear brand Hall of Fame (HOF).

    Inspired by professional sportswear designs, sports culture, and actual Hall of Fame icons like Larry Bird, HOF delivers pieces that connect with the fan experience across sports while delivering that streetwear swag.

    Here are a few of my favorite HOF pieces:

    Hall of Fame Contenders Tee

    streetwear, luxury streetwear, streetwear brands

     

    There’s nothing like a graphic tee honoring the sport of boxing with a little humor and streetwear swag like the Contenders tee.

    Mercy Baseball Jersey

    It’s almost playoff season in Major League Baseball. But some folks (like myself) are only connected to baseball of baseball streetwear gear.  This Mercy baseball jersey pays an ode to the days of our national pastime’s Golden Era with its circular embroidery design and is tailor fit to make your look a home run.

    Namath New Vintage Jersey

    http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0205/9696/products/ha_large.jpg?v=1398286891

    Paying homage to one of the NFL’s all time greatest and most stylish quarterbacks, the Namath New Vintage jersey injects style into one of the most sought-after pieces of football memorabilia.

     

    KitchenCraY: A Chef with Big Plans to be a Culinary Powerhouse

    KitchenCraY: A Chef with Big Plans to be a Culinary Powerhouse

    These days, Washington, D.C. is rapidly changing more than its history or position as the “Capital of the Free World.” A quick Google search of the term “DC Gentrification” will deliver over 637,000 results with titles like “DC’s Poorest Residents fight Displacement” or “Washington DC Loses Black Majority”. The Chocolate City is looking less “chocolate” as urban renewal displaces low-income minorities and replaces them with a new group of young, mid to high-income, diverse group of transplanted Washingtonians.

    This was evident as I made my way to a private gallery on S Street NW, off of the bustling 7th Street, headed to the website launch for KitchenCraY and Chef JR Robinson. My brief walk through the historic Shaw neighborhood featured new luxury homes and buildings, where burned-out shells of the city’s past once stood. As the winds of change blow in the District, the city’s food culture is adapting as well. A city once known for half smokes (see Ben’s Chili Bowl) and soul food (see Oohs & Aahs, Florida Avenue Grill) is now making a name for itself as a breeding ground for mobile kitchens, fusion cuisine, celebrity chefs, and farm-to-table dining.

    After checking in and shaking hands with some familiar faces, a beautiful hostess greeted me with a small tray with little cups. I had a hard time making out what was in those cups, but a quick taste test revealed an intricate mix of flavors like jerk seasoning, mild cheddar cheese, grits, and white fish. I had tasted KitchenCraY’s version of “Fish’n’Grits”, and it was amazing. The flavor was both modern and familiar, and that seems to be KitchenCraY’s culinary arts objective.

    Rather than standing in the way of change, James “Chef JR” Robinson is delivering a new wave of culinary experiences with KitchenCraY, a group that provides luxury culinary services to its clients. At their official launch event, Chef JR admitted that the five-star catering company began with a focus on urban audiences, catering brunches for popular DC social venues like Cities and Capitale. But for the future, Robinson and KitchenCraY are looking beyond the District with plans to become the “biggest culinary force in the nation.”

    In addition to catering for high-profile clients, KitchenCraY’s enterprise includes cooking classes, personal dining, and a branded cookbook due to release in the coming weeks. A KitchenCraY line of products will be coming to market soon including kitchenware, KitchenCraY sauces and seasonings. Chef JR says he wants to match the five-star dining experience to your lifestyle while promoting culinary education for adults and children.

    Checkout KitchenCraY’s new official website for more information.

     

    The All White Party: Dress Clothes for Men

    best clothing for men, menswear, white linen suits, white linen for men, white suits for men

    The Best Dress Clothes for Men for the All White Party

    It’s that time of year. The time of year that we all love. Summer has finally arrived. Hot weather signals iced coffee in the afternoon, more and more rooftop happy hours, and overdosing on food from those weekend cookouts. Summer’s return also sets the stage for the notorious All White Party. Guys, you need to know which dress clothes for men need to be in your closet ready for the big party.

    These special social gatherings are usually the highlight of the summer. From now right through Labor Day, you can expect an All White Party to happen at least once a week. It is expected, well really required, that all attendees wear white. For us, this is no easy task. Men are creatures of contrast and at a disadvantage when our palettes are limited to only one color.

    But have no fear. You know that I know that I am going to help you navigate your way to the best dress clothes for men available to help you be that standout guy at this illustrious event. When a social setting such as an All White party limits our color options, men can achieve sartorial excellence with texture and form. So how can you pull this look together easily? Here are few examples of how you can become a giant among dwarfs at your next All White engagement.

    The Summer Layer

    Layers can always make a man larger-than-life. Warm weather should not be a deterrent from employing layers. This is such an easy and dapper way to pull off that hip look for any All White event. Wear your pure white t-shirt or henley under an off-white blazer. The contrast between white and off-white is subtle but effective. Men are able to pull this look off far more easily than women.

     

    Tatter and Taper

    Kilogram - Stark White Flap - Pocket Denim Jeans

    Dress out your white bottoms in form and design. Bottoms like these Stark White Flap – Pocket Denim Jeans keep your shape narrow and your look unique. To add swag, pair with a crisp white linen shirt.

     

    Mixed Flavor

    Blazer Tailored Fit Linen Jacket White

    Finally, don’t make the mistake of becoming a blank sheet of paper by wearing the same hue of white. Start with a great white jacket like this linen jacket from Moss Bros. or a great pair of white pants. Mix pure white with colors like beige, cream, or egg white to give your look depth and dimension.

    Trying to find the best dress clothes for men to wear to an All White Party might seem daunting. But trust me guys, it’s easy. Just take my advice and you will stand out like the star that you are.

     

    Summer Men’s Fashion: Wedding Guest Attire with Swag

    summer men's fashion, men's fashion, menswear, summer clothes, wedding guest attire

    Summer Men’s Fashion with Swag

    A wedding, typically, is a ritualistic ceremony that represents the union of two individuals. The wedding reception has become every bit as ritualistic as the ceremony. Every culture has its own iteration with unique rituals. In the American South, two newlyweds “jump the broom” together showing unison in their movements forward together in life. There are many rituals associated with the Jewish wedding reception, including the Horah, or and the Chair Dance, where guests lift the bride and groom above their heads in chairs while dancing around them in a circle. Just about every wedding reception comes with a barrage of cheesy monologues made by members of the wedding party, parents, and well-wishers.

    With all of the excitement of surrounding the new union and love between two families realized, wedding receptions tend to evolve into the best party party atmosphere and a prime opportunity for bachelors to connect with their future wife. First impressions set the tone for every interaction that may come to follow, so here are a few sartorial tips for stocking your wardrobe with the best summer men’s fashion that will make you the most eligible bachelor in the room.

    Form

    Although a wedding is a very serious occurrence. But after the last bottle of champagne is opened, the newlyweds will be one in business, law and life. Lucky for you, the eligible bachelorettes in attendance will probably be looking for someone with whom they can plan their own wedding bells in the near future. So, dress accordingly. Anything short of a suit with dress shirt is unacceptable, but you don’t want to be too formal either, unless the occasion truly calls for it. Summer men’s fashion can be tricky if you don’t get it just right.

    Linen, cotton twill, and seersucker suits inject a bit of leisure and luxury into your luck while showing the potential Mrs. Last Name Goes Here that you’re no slacker. Match your suit with tailored fit and a bottle of champagne at the reception. #Winning.

    This is also a great opportunity to wear that one sexy bow tie that you have.

     

    Color

    A wedding is not a funeral, business meeting, or interview. Leave the dark colors at home (especially black, unless it’s black tie). Trade your conservative palettes in for muted colors, lighter hues, and neutrals. White dress shirts always establish a clean look, but use this as an opportunity to add a bit of color into your look.

    Use your accessories as well. Summer men’s fashion calls for jazzy pieces like a red rose brooch/lapel pin or colorful tie. The ladies in attendance will surely take notice.

    Contrast

    Form and color can distinguish a man, but contrast is what validates him. This can be achieved by mixing and matching different textures and patterns. One of my favorite things about summer men’s fashion is a great seersucker suit. If you don’t have one, get one. If you’re wearing a solid shirt, match it with an embroidered tie. If you’re wearing a solid suit, fill in the blanks with a striped shirt. Soften cotton twill suits with linen shirts. Be sure to leave your harsh leather shoes at home. Decorate your feet with suede or nubuck. Bachelorettes will be paying attention to details. You want to be impeccable on every level.

     

    NOTE: If the invitation says “Black Tie Optional”, then black tie is not optional, and you should have your tuxedo pressed immediately.

    The New Religion: Urban Clothing Meet Fear of God

    Fear of God & The Look of Urban Clothing

    Religion is a touchy subject for most. Discussing our beliefs about the afterlife, judgement and divinity can easily cause friction between the most amiable of folks. What is it about religion that divides us so? Many point to the lack of evidence for the existence of divine forces as the driving catalyst for division. History shows us that mankind has fought many wars behind the question of whether a supreme being exists, and if so, who that powerful entity is. One thing that we all share in common, however, is the capacity to believe. Whether we believe in divinity or not, we cannot prove or disprove the existence of a higher power. As urban clothing design goes, LA men’s streetwear brand, Fear of God, builds its brand story here.

    Fear of God focuses primarily on the essentials, producing high-quality, luxury interpretations of items like t-shirts, flannel tops, sweats, and more. The LA outfit gained popularity most recently after becoming a go-to brand for fashion enthusiast and global hip-hop superstar, Kanye West. West has taken urban clothing to another level. In their second year of production, Fear of God continues to build its portfolio of classics by sticking to the basics, paying great attention detail, and giving us a fresh yet refined perspective on how well-designed form can make us all look a little more “godlike”. It’s how you do modern, urban clothing in the 21st century.

    Check out some of my top picks from their latest collection below:

     

    Long Bomber

    This is a ferociously clean update to a modern classic, adding value to street and casual wear.

    Long Bomber

     

    Short Sleeve Flannel

    This warm season interpretation of an autumn/winter staple is functional year-round as both a base layer and statement piece.

    S/S Flannel

     

    Drop Crotch Shorts

    These shorts are raw yet regal. The form-fitting dimension of the seemingly tailor cut turns leisure into luxury.

    Dropcrotch Shorts

    Fear of God

    w. www.fearofgodla.com
    t. twitter.com/fearofgodla
    i. instagram.com/fearofgodla

    3 Ways to Wear Denim Shorts and Still Look Masculine

    The 1990’s were the best of times for the economy, but the worst of times for fashion. The world economy saw prosperity like never before, but our closets were experiencing one fashion fail after another. From shiny harem pants to oversized t-shirts—the last decade of the 20th Century contributed little to men’s fashion history. As ridiculous as the fashion of the 1990’s may seem at that time, it is making a slow yet steady resurgence. Just take a look around you on any street. The old grunge and punk styles have returned with a vengeance. Nirvana-style punk has returned in a more tailored manner with graphic t-shirts and plaid flannels around the waists of hipster guys everywhere. Even the oversized or baggy look has returned with a toned-down, modern aesthetic. This summer, however, will see the return of a look that faded away with the last millennium: “denim shorts”.

    But what good is it to bring back an old style, it you haven’t improved on its look and feel. In its historic form, denim shorts were boxy, unfitting and possessed almost no functionality. For whatever reason, fashion retailers produced and distributed long legged shorts that ended up looking more like denim capris than denim shorts. I don’t know any men who would ever use the word “capri” to define any article of clothing in their closet. This for sure is an epic fail. In its current form, denim shorts are a bit more useful and simply put, looks pretty damn good. But you can run the risk of not looking masculine if you don’t make the right style choices. There is absolutely a right and a wrong way to wear denim shorts. With that being said, here’s three ways to wear short denim:

     

    1. Traditional Denim Short by Gant

     

     

    1. Cutoff by Denim Supply

    1. Tapered by G-Star Raw

    The Quintessential American Man: 3 Shades of the Seersucker Suit

    seersucker suits, seersucker, american man, men's fashion

    A Seersucker Suit Makes the American Man

    Americana or “American culture” is defined by the products and ideas with which it is synonymous. Coca-Cola, the “Stars and Stripes”, blue jeans and red cups (for some strange reason) are k markers of American culture around the world and typically the most seen items at international phenomena known as America Parties. These events are exactly what the name entails: social gatherings where attendees dress, talk, drink, and party like Americans. As an American, it is kind of strange to see how our culture manifests itself in others, and at times I wonder, “What defines the quintessential American?” As a sartorial fanatic, of course, this question is framed by discussion about men’s fashion. So, the real question is, “How does the quintessential American man dress?”

    We have to begin with classics like the Navy Blazer, the Khaki Chino, and the Penny Loafer. Other classics like the white T-Shirt or Blue Jeans are synonymous with the quintessential American man as well, but is this where it ends? Certainly, the quintessential American man cannot be sartorially defined by 5 or 6 pieces. That is yet to be seen, but one piece stands out above the others as quintessentially American, in my mind, and that is the Seersucker Suit. This thin, all-cotton fabric suit originated in British India during the early colonial period and was favored over other materials in warmer weather. The Seersucker Suit became an instant staple in the States, especially in the South where warmer weather existed throughout the year. It’s taken on a number of cultural meanings over the years: innately contemptible during the 1920’s, in military uniforms briefly in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and innately contemptible again in the 1980’s. The US Senate even held Seersucker Thursday from 1996 to June 2012, where Senators and their staffers dressed in Seersucker to “bring a little Southern charm to the Nation’s Capitol”. But I beg to differ. Seersucker suits have undeniable swag. Every well-dressed man knows that.

    The Seersucker Suit is definitely in the closet of the quintessential American man and here’s why:

     

    A man in a Seersucker is about his business but also ready to kick-back.


    by Supreme New York

     

    A man in a Seersucker is automatically assumed to be a gentleman.


    by Black Fleece

     

    A man in a Seersucker is the coolest individual wherever he is by presence alone.


    by Michael Andrews Bespoke

     

    Summer is upon us, and the man with the Seersucker is the man with a plan. Besides, what else would you wear your suede white oxford shoes with?

    Sophisticated Streetwear Is The New Normal

    streetwear, luxury streetwear, designer streetwear, menswear

    How To Up Your Streetwear Game

    If someone asked my 15 year-old self, “What’s your favorite streetwear brand?” I would probably reply with a swift, “Roc-a-wear” or “Solbiato.” If one were to ask me the same question today, I would blurt out a mouth full of obscure names like “Off White”, “Your Neighbors”, or “Hip and Bone”. Hip Hop culture has continued to evolve. It now exists as an umbrella over America’s popular culture and a major influence on global popular culture. From Miley’s twerking to Justin Bieber or global bass star M.I.A, Hip Hop’s stamp on society cannot be understated, and this truth is more than evident in fashion.

    The line between high-end designer and streetwear has blurred as Hip Hop culture inches ever so closely to Paris. Givenchy is now a staple at most high-end streetwear boutiques, and Raf Simons even pulled some HBCU sorority girls to “step” in one of his recent shows.

    These days, streetwear brands not only deliver comfort and grit, they provide luxury as well. Here are few looks guaranteed to turn heads even while you kick back:

    1. Sweat Shirt and Pant by Hip & Bone

    The casual wearing of sweat shirts and pants exhibits a return to a pillar of streetwear: comfort. These days, however, the essence of luxury and individuality is valued, and this Escobar top and bottom by Hip and Bone address that need.

    ESCOBAR ORGANIC COTTON PANTS WITH LEATHER TRIMMING ON KNEEELI CUT OFF SLEEVE CREW WITH ZIPPERS

    1. Graphic Print Tees by Uppercut

    Sourcing Balmain and Givenchy as inspiration behind their graphic print t-shirt designs, Uppercut bring luxury closer to the street and at a lower price point. The Italy-based streetwear brand delivers high-art through wearable and functional fashion.

    Multicolor B-Main Print T-Shirt

    1. Embroidered Towelling T-Shirt by Kokon To Zai

    Carrie Mundane made headlines as a celebrity designer working with the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna and Nelly Furtado. She has now found success with her own line, Kokon To Zai. Citing global cultures as her inspiration, Carrie produces pieces with international relevance, like this Towelling T-Shirt which allows for easy movement while maintaining a luxurious yet gritty presentation.

    Ying Yang Embroidered Towelling T-shirt

    1. Long Bomber by Fear of God

    Highlighting the basics, Fear of God is all about the essentials. This Long Bomber is an evolutionary execution of the streetwear staple Bomber. It lengthens the torso and injects a hint of high fashion into a signature street look.

    Long Bomber

    Your Music Festival Gear for Coachella, Bonaroo, Sasquatch & More

    Music Festivals Are Here To Stay

    Here in the DC area, the advent of spring brings forth a number of lifestyle changes for its inhabitants. Cherry blossoms come with spring, and with these cherry blossoms comes swarms of tourists. These tourists clog our streets and public transportation and make innocent worker bees like myself very irritable. Add in the unpredictable weather and devilishly high levels of tree pollen and spring in the Nation’s Capital can be more like organized chaos than a picturesque postcard.

    Don’t let my view of changing seasons depress or deter you from basking in the warmer weather and longer evenings. Spring also means open rooftop happy hours, day parties, and (my personal favorite) music festivals. There’s no better thing to do on a beautiful Saturday than stand outside, drink libations, and consume culture. Festivals are in! It’s where the mainstream culture and subculture collide in our post-modern world. For years, we’ve seen events like Coachella, Bonaroo, Sasquatch, Jay-Z’s  Made In America, DC’s Trillectro and SXSW capture the the minds and hearts of thousands of cultural consumers. Thankfully for those of us who consider ourselves to be cultural connoisseurs, it’s all happening again this year.

    Music festivals are more than moments. They are marathons, and with the proper preparation, one can survive the beer, mosh pits and madness while maintaining their cool. Here are some tips for how to dress during festival season:

    coachella, bonaroo, sasquatch, music festivals, music festival

    1. Worn Yet Valuable Footwear – Gazelle by Adidas

    The combination of comfort and style in footwear is typically associated with sneakers like these Retro Air Jordan I’s, but you don’t have go the sneaker route to protect your feet from exploding after hours non-stop partying, mosh pit raging, and crowd surfing. Just make sure that the shoes you do choose to wear are somewhat worn because there’s a 90% chance your beverage will end up on them at some point in the day, but most importantly, wear something that screams, “I’m me!”. Festivals are a time to let loose and show the world who you are!

    1. Cargo Pants or Shorts – Skinny Cargo Pant by Rockstar Denim

    The key here is functionality and usability. Who wants to carry around a book bag all day? Not I. Substitute the luggage with pockets. Make use of all five, six or nine pockets. Save one for your wallet, cell phone, tickets (can’t forget your tickets), car keys, and a few beers if you have space.

    1. Culturally Relevant Tops – Doberman Jersey T-Shirt by Pool House

    Again, festivals are an opportunity to show the world who you are, so do just that. Graphic screen print t-shirts tend to do the trick but don’t stop there. I’m considering an ethnic Kurta for this year’s festivities, maybe even a dashiki. Your top should share some interesting insight about who you are and be some what relevant to the cultural atmosphere in which you’re engaging.

    1. Light Layers – Distressed Denim Jacket by H&M

    Yes, the weather is warm during the spring and summer months, but don’t be fooled by high day-time temperatures. The setting of the sun, light breeze and an ensuing twilight hangover can bring about the chills. Take a light jacket for the evening. Who knows, that hip chick you’ve been eyeing all day may need it at some point. Success is a mix of opportunity and preparation. Be prepared.

    1. Necessary Accessory – Snapback by Dream 4 Purpose; G-Shock Watch by Casio

    For further usability and functionality, here are some thoughts on  necessary accessories. I emphasize the word necessary because there’s nothing more annoying or distracting than someone wearing too many accessories. You see them at the music festivals all the time. They wear eight wood necklaces, five wood bracelets, and are usually wearing too many layers. Be smart. Be exact. Be concise. Think about what you’ll need to know. You’ll need to know the time (watch); you’ll need a bottle opener (key chain); a sun-blocking mechanism (sunglasses or hat); and you’ll need keep your pants up (belt). Anything above this runs the risk of being unnecessary, except a piece of neck jewelry.

    Fun awaits you at your local music festival. Don’t miss out, and make your fashion work for you.

    From Rags to Retro: How To Prepare Your Closet for Spring

    retro, retro dressing, dress retro, spring clothes

    When the words “spring” and “cleaning” are used consecutively, I get nervous. There is no task more daunting than emptying junkie closets and choosing what stays and what goes. The sheer number of items to pick through is frightening. After the frustration comes the doubt. I start asking myself, “Should I keep this”, or, “Will this trend come back around?” When battling against yourself in this manner, always remember, style never dies and trends come and go. So hold on to your pieces with that retro vibe. I apply this philosophy to my spring cleaning rituals year after year and always come out on top. Here’s a list of things to hold on to after spring cleaning:

    1. Sports Memorabilia

    Remember that authentic Michael Jordan jersey you used to have? Or how about that commemorative September 11th Yankees dugout jacket? Nothing hurts me more than to go looking for some valuable piece of sports memorabilia that I no longer have. Keep the jerseys. Keep the warm-ups. Keep the shorts. T-shirts come and go, but authentic hand-sewn sports memorabilia should stay put.

    2. Sweaters

    Ugly winter or holiday sweaters are not so ugly when they come back in style, are they? I would kill to have my Ralph Lauren Polo bear sweater back. That’s so retro, right? I wish someone would have told me that snowflake embroidery would be acceptable in 2014. Every spring, we have to take a long hard look at our sweaters and ask, “Should I keep it?” Here’s my rule of thumb on the matter, if it fits and you look to avoid the cost of purchasing another bulky sweater in the winter to come, then keep it.

    3. Denim

    Denim can always present a sour experience when cleaning out the closet because the it serves so many purposes. Denim’s durability, however, makes it tough to let go. As humans, we grow, and as Sartorial Villains, our preferences change from year to year. We tend to like different washes, sizes and, fits. I say, cover all of your bases. Keep denim to suit different needs. Keep a pair of relaxed, skinny, and slim jean to be used for different occasions. Keep a light, medium, and dark wash as well. If your bases are covered, what you do from there is up to you. Any true man of denim only has about two go-to pair of jeans anyway.

    4. Boots

    Restore your boots. After a winter of pounding on snow, salt, and ice, any footwear would seem to be worth passing along or handing down. Before discarding your hardy footwear, give them a nice rinse and shine. I guarantee you will reconsider shipping them off to the Salvation Army.

    5. Business Attire

    Business attire is another sour spot for me. As we gain weight or lose it, the fit of a shirt, pant, or coat can change drastically. There’s nothing more hurtful than throwing on your favorite suit only to find that it looks or feels ridiculous. However, if the measurements are somewhat close to your needs, keep the items. A quick trip to your local tailor can correct any wrongs in fit or function, and if funds are tight, store the pieces in a safe, dry place. The extra pounds can be easily shaved to put you right back in your favorite trousers, and muscle can be gained to tighten the fit on your favorite blazer.


    “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. So, why let someone else reap the benefits of your awesome closet? Keep the good stuff for your retro pile and let the rest go.

     

     

    [Spring Cleaning image via scstandardmotors.blogspot.com]

    The Perfect Power Tie for the Perfect Look

    ties

    These days, the working man can go from the gym to a breakfast meeting to a major presentation all before 5 pm and still make time for social interaction later in the evening.

    The shade of grey between casual, semi-formal, and formal menswear has become even more difficult to define these days. Many men are trading in their casual chinos and khakis for form fitting denim and chambray, replacing the function of traditional suiting with tailored separates to address needs of the modern professional experience. Amidst all of this change, however, one accessory remains constant, assisting the modern man by capturing eyes and minds in every interaction. That accessory is the power tie.

    A tie is a clothing accessory traditionally affiliated with formal or semi-formal fashion for men. Its use has become pretty mundane, or expected. These days, the tie finds its way into your local pub and the office within the same work day-happy hour cycle. In more cases than others, the tie is expected to make an appearance during times of official business.

    It is because of this business that we now have the term, “power tie”. Now, my first notion of the “power tie” came from my father. He told me that a tie could make or break you, and that the right neck piece could be the difference between positive or negative outcomes. I found it hard to believe. Such a small piece of clothing couldn’t possibly have that much of an effect on people, could it? We’re much smarter than to judge people by what they wear, aren’t we? Before I go into an analysis of judgemental trends in our society, let me just say that ties do have power, and the “power tie” can create for you or negate from you.

    The traditional “power tie” is defined as a bold solid or patterned tie featuring red or royal blue as its main color. Generally, it’s the tie you may see politicians wear during speeches, addresses, and media appearances. But in a world where the office, bar, and home are all starting to look the same, the “power tie” is transforming and beginning to look completely different. Many men now see that it’s not all about colors and patterns.

    So, what constitutes a “power tie” these days? Let’s see:
    ● Contrast – There must be some shocking but subtle contrast between the “power tie” and your other pieces. This can be achieved mostly by contrasts in texture (e.g. tweed suit with cotton tie), so don’t rely too heavily on color.
    ● Shirt detail – Be mindful of the type of collar constructed into your shirt. This dictates the appropriate knot to tie, which also affects the “power” in your tie. Typically, narrow collars require subtle knots that lay on the shirt, while wide collars require robust knots that fill the space.
    ● Wide load – Be mindful of your tie’s width. Use the more narrow, slim ties with narrow and slim jacket lapels.

    All in all, a “power tie” is extremely political, either selling you or putting you back on the shelf. Got some power ties? Tweet your pics to @FaconMagazine #ShadesOfPower.

     

    How Guys Should Dress For The Weather

    How Guys Should Dress For The Weather

    At my alma mater, Hampton University, one could experience all four seasons before laying his head to rest. Many days, I would walk to my first class in a winter coat, only to revert back to short sleeves during the heat of the day. Light jackets and sweaters made an appearance, as well, before laying my head to rest.

    These days, however, it seems as though whacky weather patterns are becoming the norm. Here in DC, we recently experienced highs near 70 degrees F and below 10 degrees F within a few days. Some unlucky Floridians had to trade in their flip flops for furry boots. Whether it’s climate change, El Niño, or just a strange year in weather, skies and temperatures aren’t as predictable as it used to be. Betting on the accuracy of some weather channel may now prove to be an unwise style decision. Just how should guys dress for the weather?

    No worries. Those who are prepared will be equipped to stomp through piles of snow or puddles of rain without a scratch or stain. As we head into the already unpredictable spring season, here are some tips on how to combat an anti-closet climate.

    1. Functional Layers
    underarmour

    In the dead of winter, fashion is all about warmth. Traditionally, men have lost in comfort what they have gained in warmth. Men wisely switch light shirts and jackets for heavy sweaters and coats. Thanks to scientific ingenuity and sartorial mastery, there are new ways to layer, look good, and protect yourself from the sporadic weather patterns. Synthetic base layers like those produced by Under Armour trap body heat and are better suited for braving the blistery, breezy conditions. They also slide right under fitted clothes more comfortably than the “long johns” your dad wore. Trust me, it’s much easier to move around in synthetic base layers than to have a pair of briefs, boxers, and basketball shorts tucked under your pants.

    2. Beautiful Blend

    hsm

    Staying warm in the winter months while maintaining proper dress used to involve employing stiff 100% wool suits. But thankfully, most menswear producers now make use of wool blends. Designers use these fused fabrics deliver pieces that can be worn in all seasons while sustaining the comfort of their lighter counterparts. Lines like Hart, Schaffner and Marx  use an interesting mix of Italian and English wools to supplement heavier fabrics like flannel. This gives men everywhere a shot at braving the storm. Just add an effective top coat where needed and you’re ready for anything.

    3. Accurate Accessories

    shoes

    It saddens me to see men who are ill-prepared to face the elements. From undersized umbrellas to improper footwear, there are some guys who lose the battle before they leave their homes. There are a few simple solutions for keeping it all together while the world around you freezes solid or drowns under rain torrents. Brogue boots like these Allen Edmonds wingtips will keep the water and snow off of your toes along with a pair of wool socks. Also, don’t be fooled by cheap sidewalk umbrellas, invest in a classic cane umbrella. It’s dapper and will keep you dry.

    In the midst of the turbulent weather, hope does lie ahead. The warmer months are not too far off. Find joy in knowing that soon the sun won’t be going down until late in the evening and wardrobe choices will be as simple as, “What color t-shirt should I wear today?”