Month: January 2017

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

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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