Please Follow Me . . .

At my new website Poor, Broke And Handsome.  I figured it was about time for me to graduate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.  The same mission in mind with a little more control of the layout.  But I like to keep things simple but effective. I’ll catch you on the flip side!  Jal ga! 

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Culture Can Be . . .

A secret weapon that makes extraordinary things happen. –Jon Katzenbach

You may be asking, how does this relate to creating your own style?  Look at who you are culturally.  Do you see anything can use to help manifest your style?  I bet you can!

As I expressed last February, being Korean influences some of my style.  I regularly drop Korean lexicon into these posts.  This is who I am racially (half of me), culturally (to some degree) and I wear it proudly (as well as being Irish and Italian).  photo_grid_1483890827618Centuries ago, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean upper class always wore 20170107_192950beautiful clothing, material-wise and color-wise.  When I did my research,  I learned a lot about the history of Korea and as well as the development of Korean culture.  The aristocracy wore bright colors with floral and animal patterns.  The children wore bright colors too.  The common people wore muted colors.  Dancheong (단청) dominated the architecture and is characterized by the five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).  As my closest friends know, I have an affinity for pocket squares especially those that display bright colors with floral patterns.  I also love paisley which I have successfully incorporated into my style.  I also wear colors that are subdued.  The combination of these with what is modern, has afforded me the look I have been developing and what I have been told on many occasions is very appealing.  It works for me.  I’m fortunate because I am able to honestly express myself through some elements of my Korean culture.  Please always keep this in mind, your style is an expression of who you are!  You are going to gather bits and pieces from everywhere and everyone possible.  Make an assessment then assimilate what best suits you into your own foundation.  At the end of the day, you have to be the one happy with your result!  When you take the journey into your cultural background and maybe you find it may be too much to your liking, there are 20170108_094512little things you can do to incorporate it into your style.  I have a couple of pair of cuff links made by 카라빈카 쇼핑몰 that specializes in Korean gifts.  The cuff links I am wearing in the picture to the left have Hangul on them better know as Hunminjeongeum. Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443.  The design is beautiful and at the same time very significant in Korean history.  The other pair is a dancheong design.  Although I have been speaking about adding elements of your respective culture into your style paradigm, don’t be afraid to add your religious beliefs, hobbies, likes, career, etc.  The key is not to go overboard.  There will be a point where it becomes too much and therefore not appealing.  Moderation is a key.  With practice, you will find that stylistic balance.  Until next time, jal ga!

*Top left picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Feather and Smith, Watch: Invicta
Bottom left picture: Blazer: Croft & Barrow, Shirt: Brooks Brothers, Tie: MW Collection, Pocket Square: The Square Extraordinaire
Top right picture: Pocket Squares: The Square Extraordinaire

Know First Who You Are . . .

and then adorn yourself accordingly. –Epictetus

I could have gone all Happy 2017 but that isn’t my style. I have a foundation I have built upon for decades and I have a preference to deviate from societal norms. Hell, my parents did not adhere to societal norms so why should I?  My duty is to keep up the tradition!  But I digress.

A year has passed and I am hopeful as a reader you have grasped what I have presented and have grown stylistically.  If you frequent here, I truly appreciate it.  If you have been able to apply some of the things I have presented here and you expand from it, you are obviously are heading in the right direction!   I established this blog because I have something to offer.  A different perspective and a desire to see one succeed at creating their own image.  We are bombarded with standards.  The standard may work for some but it may not work for all.  As I have elaborated in the past, have a foundation and expand your horizons.  In my opinion, it is important to incorporate elements of your personality, your culture and who you are into your style.  This is how we evolve.  We have to guinea pig ourselves.  It is important to ask questions but not so much one cannot make a decision without input from our peers. We experiment until we find a formula that works.  When the formula becomes stagnant, we search for ways to get back up to spec.  It’s very simple to say but a whole different ballgame to put it into action.  But if you want something bad enough, you will do what it takes (within reason, I hope) to achieve.  Anyhow, enough of my rambling.  Let me touch on something every wardrobe should have, the double breasted blazer.

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The double breasted blazer has nautical and sporting origins.   Better known as the reefer jacket, it was 20170101_085229adopted into fashion.  It has had its periods of popularity.  In recent years it has made a comeback.  The jacket is characterized by the overlapping front just like the pea coat.  On the inside of the jacket there is what is known as a jigger.  It assists in keeping the jacket tight.  One fastens this first, then the respective middle button.  There are rules for buttoning too when it comes to the double breasted blazer.  Always button the middle button only juxtaposed to the single breasted, one will always keep the top button fastened.  Leave the jacket buttoned when sitting down.  The extra material flopping around to say the least, will appear unflattering whereas with the single breasted, one unbuttons the jacket.   The versatility of the double breasted blazer is one to enjoy.  They can be worn in formal as well as casual settings.  Spend a few hours on Pintrest and prepared to go michin with all the possibilities this piece of clothing brings!  Just like the single breasted blazer and sport coat, they are made with different materials as well as different 20170101_091218colors.  The ones above left and right are a linen-cotton blend made by Stafford.  I have spoke highly of JC Penneys in past writings and will continue to do so.  These jackets were of the classic fit but as usual, my tailor made them perfect.  One will see the gold/brass buttons just as you will see on a single breasted navy blazer.  But if this is too much, you can always find them with regular buttons.  You can have your tailor replace them or if you’re feeling a little daring with your buttons, go with something avant-garde!  As with everything you purchase, fit reigns supreme.  You should have a good idea what brands suit your body best.  In addition, you should know when something needs tailoring.  Every so often, one can metaphorically hit the Powerball and what is purchased off the rack or second hand fits perfectly.  If you were pondering life with a double breasted jacket, whether it would be a suit or blazer, I strongly recommend you consider it!  Until next time, jal ga!

*Feature picture: Shoes: 14th & Union, Tie: Ling Dai Jing Pin, Pocket Square: SantoStefano
Top left picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Feather and Smith
Top right picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Jack Spade
Bottom left picture: Blazer: Christian Dior Monsieur, Shirt: Calvin Klein, Tie: Brooks Brothers, Pocket Square: Jospeh Abboud

I Love Dressing Up . . .

Around the holidays!  My friends also really like to get dressed up.  It’s an excuse to get fancy. –Beth Riesgraf

I speculate about half the people look at the holiday season with great disdain.  You have the nonsense of Black Friday and any other hopped up Christmas sale event.  You have the obligation of buying gifts for relatives they may see once a year as well as receiving gifts they wouldn’t give to their worst enemy.  You have the displeasure of sitting at the dinner table with relatives with differing political, racial, religious, academic or whatever views.  But at least when you go 636007535808318874_1917013326_fireover to that relative’s home for dinner, you can dress in sweatpants and an ugly Christmas sweater.  Wrong!   Burn that ffffffin thing!  I don’t know when it happened and quiet honestly couldn’t care less why it happened.  People stopped caring about their appearance during the holidays.  We’ve heard the “I want to be comfortable after gorging myself with enough food to feed a third world country” excuse.  Babo sekkiya . . .

If you are part of the other half of people who enjoy thephoto_grid_1480029334426 holidays, you most likely have a game plan in how to deal with the distractions of the holiday season.  You are ready for the relatives you see once in a blue moon and their pendulum-like views on any and everything (Maybe a shot of sambuca or soju will make it easier).  But most importantly, you will dress your holiday best and will be comfortable as you decide whether it’s bulking season or not.  As an individual who has been creating their own style, you are well aware one needs to constantly be on top of their game.  The holiday season is perfect time to experiment.  There is a desire to be comfortable, functional as well as the best dressed person in the room.  And if your relatives criticize the way you dress, are they really your relatives?

One should always go seasonal when picking out the color scheme you choose to wear.  Burgundys, greys, browns, greens are the basic foundation with all of the variations of the aforementioned.  For example, the picture above combines camel overcoat, grey wool trousers, purple and blue paisley tie, navy blue waistcoat, contrast collar blue/grey striped shirt, light blue IMG_20151225_131920pocket square and cedar/plaid brogues make for an appealing Thanksgiving outfit.  In the picture to the left, olive green blazer, hunter green gingham shirt, burgundy polka dot knit tie, poinsettia lapel pin, and a double sided pocket square to pull the Christmas outfit (from last December) together.  As the picture dictates, do be afraid of adding a splash of color to bring your ensemble together.  Creating your own style involves “walking like you own it!”  Confidence in what you wear and how you wear it is paramount.  Your efforts to stay the course as well as stay away from appearing most substandardly should never wane.  As with all things in life, we should always look to learn more and improve our overall being as well as those around us.  No matter who you are or what you believe in, enjoy the holiday season and strive to be better next year.  Until next time, 메리 크리스마스!

 

It’s Weird, When Autumn Comes . . .

I can never reason with myself. –Verbal Jint

As Labor Day Weekend signifies in the States the end of Summer, the Autumn smell, I could smell it, Autumn smell, it smells like Autumn.  Depending where one lives in the USA, you either look forward to the Fall or have no problem living The Endless Summer.  Although there is still some Summer left, it’s always nice to get a jump on the next season.  I look forward to the Fall.  I enjoy the balance of the four seasons we have in the Northeast.  But with the Northeast comes weather patterns that truly have a mind of its own.  Today may be 85 and sunny.  Tomorrow may be 65 and sunny.  It smells like Autumn.

20160905_155227aWith the changing of the seasons comes the changing of 10487585_10204899801827551_1587235641674637137_nattire.  Tailored shorts, polo shirts, Sperry Top-siders and most Summer-oriented clothing should be placed into hibernation.  The color palette fades from bright to not so bright.  You can unleash some of those shoes that were put away for the Summer again.  Your skill set to mix, match and layer will be on display!   Browns, blacks, darker blues, burgundy, oranges, purples, greys, greens, darker yellows or any color that brings a sense of warmth to your wardrobe is the flavor for the season.  Materials change too.  Wool, tweed, corduroy, suede and flannel should be ready to go.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations.  And don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary style-wise (stay away from the pumpkin latte nonsense).  For a simple example of layering, in the pic to the right, I am wearing a Club Room lavender stripped slim-fit dress shirt (Ebay, $13.85), a Tricots St. Raphael chocolate brown half-zip sweater (BCF, $19.99), a Chaps tan corduroy sport coat (Kohls, $29.99 clearance) and a pocket square ($6.24) from The SquarExtraordinaire on Ebay.  The outfit is simple, warm and exudes the season of Autumn intertwined with a little bit of my personality, the pocket square.  What you don’t see, I am wearing Urban Pipeline dark indigo jeans (Kohls $15.99) and a pair of G.H. Bass saddle shoes (BCF $29.99).  Remember when creating your own style to incorporate your personality.

Something of pertinence I want to speak about is purchasing off-season.  The Chaps sport coat was purchased in Summer of 2014 hence the ridiculously low price.  I recently purchased 2 more Chaps sport coats (brown suede and black corduroy with elbow patches) from Kohls online a month ago.  Both were on clearance for $35 (original price $175).  While some may say the Chaps line is of a lower standard, I couldn’t care less.  My tailored executed her magic and I am content.  Firstly, I wouldn’t invest full price photo_grid_1473112197353for the sport coats.  I know better now that I am older and hopefully wiser.  Secondly, I wouldn’t wear these particular sport coats every day.  In addition, I treat these coats as if Iimg_20160217_190835 purchased them at a Brooks Brothers brick and mortar.  I am aware of clothing deemed cheap because they do use cheaper materials and quality control is not up to par as well as other factors that come into play.  But I will say it emphatically in my best version of The Rockit doesn’t matter where you bought them!  You treat each piece of clothing with care regardless of price.  Same for shoes.  I cannot stress this enough.  If we were channeling Demi Moore’s character in Indecent Proposal, rolling around half naked in a million dollars, we would be heading to Brooks Brothers ASAP!  I saw some Edward Greens I want for a cool $1720!

It shouldn’t be a problem switching over one’s seasonal wardrobe.  In fact, it should be fun.  Keep to the fundamentals and add on accordingly.  If it fits your personality, have the confidence to wear it and wear it to perfection.  Before I conclude, keep in mind to put your Spring and Summer clothes away with care.  Appropriate care will have them ready to go once the season change again.  Take care of your suede shoes too.  Give them a good once over and have them nap with cedar shoe trees.  Until next time, jal ga!

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world . . .

and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing. –Ernest Hemingway

Every time the Winter exits, I look forward to the Spring, the Summer & the Autumn.  Although I enjoy the Winter sans the lousy drivers when the snow begins to fall, the latter seasons offer me an indulgence I accept with open arms; vineyards.

I am fortunate to live in an area that affords me many vineyards with excellent wine.  One may ask while they read this, what does wine have to do with proper attire?  In my personal opinion, a lot.  If you have been following this blog, you understand the importance of appearance as well as creating your own style.  In my previous post, I was taken aback by the attire worn by people summoned to the courthouse.  The same holds true for the vineyard.  I do understand the laid-backness of such an environment.  A man attending a vineyard with their significant other should put effort into their appearance.  Why?  Because she is doing the same!   I’ve visited three vineyards several times this Summer.  I have seen many women beautifully dressed whether it was a bachelorette group or with their boyfriend/husband.  More often than not, it appears their partner just threw on whatever was in their vicinity.  My world didn’t come crashing down because of this.  I am of the group who believes an appearance is not truly indicative of an individual’s character.  I am cognizantphotogrid_1471094306391 this is contradictory of what I write here.  Our society dictates a good appearance is of utmost importance.  But as an individual who believes character takes precedence over appearance, in my opinion it makes sense to have a book cover that will pique the interest of all.  Let the reader make an assessment after reading and digesting the contents instead having the reader avert their eyes because the cover didn’t attract them.  With that said, make sure your book cover displays an invitation to read.

We are still enjoying Summer here so the most obvious is dressing appropriately for the weather conditions.  Cotton and linen blends make for comfortable clothing choices.  Luckily, the vineyards here are located near the ocean so there is a nice breeze. Being situated near the coastline, the temperatures will be a relaxing 5 degrees cooler than inland.  Tailored shorts are a go combined with a polo shirt or a button down with a nice pair of suede loafers.  Chinos or khakis combined with a dress shirt, a blazer, pocket square and suede monk straps is another great option.  No flip-flops.  You’re not at the beach.  No cargo shorts.  You’re not running your weapon system hot doing tactical maneuvers.  In the picture above I am wearing a Merona half-lined tailored fit cotton blazer (I paid $29.98 with free shipping from Target), an Alfani Red dress shirt (I paid $8.95 from a vendor on Ebay) and a Feather and Smith pocket square (of course Ebay for $8.95).  What you don’t see, is a pair of red Docker’s D2 khakis (Ebay again for $9.99) and a pair of Calibrate Cusano suede monk straps (Nordstrom’s brand for $64.98).moments_3_e74_f7_bd_08_ee_4571_a3_cd_aba206696_dd0_hi

If you enjoy wine and haven’t visited your local vineyards, I highly recommend it.  Taking your significant other to enjoy a day of each other’s company as well as the local fare your vineyard has to offer makes for a wonderful, relaxing occasion.  Plus, it’s nice to hear someone who works the vineyard say, “Here’s the best dressed couple again!”  Jal ga!

 

Good Clothes . . .

open all doors. –Thomas Fuller

I received a summons in the mail last Friday.  It stated I had to appear in court the following Tuesday.  No problem.  I selected what I was to wear: Alfani Red suit (medium grey), Alfani Red slim fit dress shirt (white), Tasso Elba tie (burgundy/grey/white), Banana Republic Wyatt Italian Leather Monk Strap, Kenneth Cole belt, Van Heusen socks and a Timex T series mother of pearl face.  No pocket square.  No jewellery.  Very minimalist and for good reason.photo_grid_1469321430247

Our society is awash with a rebel mentality.  Colloquially speaking, this crap doesn’t fly in the courtroom.  A respectable appearance and demeanor may improve one’s chances depending what violation(s) has been bestowed upon you.  One doesn’t wear a fancy pocket square to make colors pop or a diver watch with three bracelets.  Keep it simple is most appropriate when dressing for the courtroom.  The courtroom is the Judge’s house.  When invited to someone’s home, you do not make an effort to be a nuisance or show them up in their own home.  This rule applies to the Judge’s house.  Keep it simple, arasso?

Punctual as always, upon entering the only people wearing a suit were the lawyers, a detective and me.  As more people entered, to my dismay not one of them, males and females were appropriately dressed!  Tank tops, shorts, ragged looking t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, flip flops, untied basketball sneaks, etc.  It was a sight to behold.  I am well aware, dressing is a matter of personal preference but there are more than a few scenarios in our lives that require one’s attention.  The courtroom is one of them.

Being well-dressed will change not only the individual who takes pride in their appearance but others around them.  It isn’t necessary to elaborate for there are plenty of examples of this.   If you have been doing this all along, then you feel me.  Jal ga!

Friendship . . .

is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” –C.S. Lewis

And this, is what will develop when one embarks on a new friendship with those two in the featured picture.  A common theme in my posts are one should take care of their clothes no matter how much one has paid or the quality of them.  Two items that will assist you are a garment steamer and an iron.  At the end of the day, one friend you do not want around is wrinkled clothing.  Wrinkled clothes are embarrassing.  Wrinkled clothes may be perceived as one not caring about their appearance.  The whole point of creating one’s style is one does care about their appearance!

A garment steamer is self-explanatory, it steams your clothing to take away wrinkles.  There is an assortment of them.  My suggestion is do your research and find one suitable for your needs.  The steamer pictured is a Conair Extreme Steam.  I paid $29.99 on Ebay for it.  The pricing varies but it is economical and it is a great piece of equipment to own.  Sometimes it is best to use a steamer because it saves on time. There is clothing that is best suited for steaming.  It is 20160619_071425important to use distilled water only in garment steamers.  The standard iron has been destroying wrinkles since the beginning of time.  As with everything, products get better, more advanced and make most things easier.  The iron pictured is a Rowenta Effective.  I purchased this on sale at Target for $39.99.  Rowenta has a great reputation.  As with the steamer, one will use distilled water.  Hard minerals in tap water over time, may ruin the effectiveness of the steamer and the iron.  While there are detractors concerning this, I would err on the side of caution.  Purchasing a gallon of distilled water will not put one at a deficit. Just as you treat your clothes well, treat the equipment you use on them just as well!  Jal ga!

A Shoe Is Not Only A Design . . .

but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes. –Christian Louboutin

As Spring slowly (or not so slowly depending where one resides) blends into Summer, dressing appropriately for any occasion becomes a challenge.  It is a challenge you embrace, indulge and conquer wholeheartedly!  The Spring/Summer seasons bring about different shoe wear.  We have boat shoes, trainers (although these are year round), loafers, driving shoes and the like.  As a person looking to create their own style, one should definitely own a pair of boat shoes, trainers and loafers.  Another style of shoe that should be up for serious consideration are suede shoes.  Suede shoes are synonymous with at least three seasons and sometimes Winter.  photo_grid_1465686783874Personally, I love suede shoes.  I like the look, the feel and they are most certainly bring a casual angle to your overall style.  Every maker of men’s shoes has a variety of suede footwear ranging from any style of shoe to any price range.  In the picture to the right, G.H. Bass Kensington Weejuns ($43.49, I bought them on sale!) are at the top and H & M‘s double monk straps ($69.99) at the bottom.  In the featured picture, I am wearing Johnston & Murphy Ellington Wingtip Oxfords.  I won them on Ebay for $15.  Yes, $15!  The seller bought them at a Johnston & Murphy shop at Reagan National Airport (he left the receipt in the shoe box) and came to the conclusion he didn’t like them.  I liked them and got lucky!  These shoes normally went for roughly $130-140.  I want to drive home the point it is not necessary to purchase items at their original price point.  Research, look, find and decide.  There are times you may have no choice as in the case with the H & Ms above.  They sold out twice online (and appears permanently) and they weren’t at my local brick and mortar.  Their color is a dark taupe which is perfect for Spring/Summer wear so in the end, it is a win-win for me.

img_20150709_1805551The one thing one will love about suede shoes is the versatility.  You can wear suede shoes with shorts and trousers alike.  Some may disagree with the idea of wearing suede monk straps with shorts but I suggest one experiment.  Try them with cargo tailored shorts and a nice polo or button down shirt.  And make sure that belt matches your shoes!  If you’re uncomfortable with monk straps, go with tassel loafers, penny loafers or oxfords.  One thing one should keep in mind is your color palette.  The standard is wearing lighter, more season-friendly colors.  This applies to the shoes too.  If one desires to refine their craft, they must practice.  This goes for creating your own style.  Do not be afraid to try different styles of suede shoes because at the end of the day, you are the one on showcase.  Until next time, jal ga!

 

Dressing . . .

is a way of life. –Yves Saint Laurent

While elsewhere in the world, it’s just a regular weekend.  Here, in the States it is a time we honor those who gave the greatest sacrifice for their country.  It’s Memorial Day weekend.  I am not a military honk by any stretch.  I respect those who enlist and dedicate their time to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, etc.  Unfortunately, I have seen over the decades the business per usual commercialization of this day.  It is what it is.  It is bothersome when people forget what the day is for.  It’s not about getting drunk, eating stuff off the grill and stuffing your face until it explodes.  No matter how one feels about America, its government and all the other stuff, take a moment of silence to honor those who gave their lives for this country.

In addition to this, you can be honorable too by not dressing like a frat boy. 20160526_190928  I am aware 20160526_191747sometimes one just does not feel like dressing nice.  I understand but keep in mind, it can at times (depending on the person and situation) become a bad habit.  You’re doing so well at the gym and you decide to skip one day.  Then two days the next week.  Then comes the “I’ll take a week off because I need it” excuse.  Rubbish!  I am not stating it is wrong to have a day where you just don’t feel like it.  But do not let one day domino into many months.

Now, what to wear for that Memorial Day cookout?  Remember, this weekend kicks off the start of Summer even though it doesn’t officially20160526_192617 arrive until sometime in June. If you’re lucky, the weather is perfect and the selections I made for the three pictures you see will be just right.  Wear a nice v-neck t-shirt, henley, button-down or polo shirt.  No tank tops, wife beaters or sleeves that have been manually chopped off a t-shirt with graphics on it.  You’re not at a college weekender.  Wear some nice tailored shorts (no cargo shorts!), linen shorts or pants.  And for the love of Buddha, no jean shorts!  Wear some nice boat shoes, suede wing tips, loafers or trainers.  Go sockless or grab a pair of no show socks.  Please do not enlist the services of the dreaded pair of black socks and slides.  Unless you have a big game coming up, leave them at home.  Also, accessorize!  Have a little bit of pride in your appearance.  Honor those who gave their lives.  And don’t forget the maekjuJal ga!