alfani

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!

 

Something About A Good Suit . . .

I don’t know, a good suit just, you know, you can take on, you can take on the world in a good suit, you know? –Conor McGregor

I put this blog together in an effort to help those looking to improve their overall appearance, clothing-wise without spending an arm, a leg or some other extremity.  One subject I stated in a earlier post I was going to touch upon is having a good tailor.  I have a great tailor that was referred to me by a friend.  You could buy top of the line clothing and if the fit is horrible, there isn’t anything in the universe that can save you except a tailor.

We have all seen the before and after pictures of a suit, a blazer or a sport coat that was transformed from well, nice try to aesthetically pleasing.  From experience, you feel the difference and what goes without saying, see the difference.  We are aware there are three kinds of fit when it comes to the aforementioned; classic, modern and slim fit.  The wonderful thing about having your tailor on speed dial or having the luxury of dropping by anytime, if you happen upon and purchase a suit, blazer or sport coat in the classic fit, your tailor will clean that mess up!

As far as the modern and slim fit go, unless your body has perfect specs for either style, you need to get them tailored!  In the following pictures, you will see a Nicole Miller slim-fit suit in black and an Alfani slim-fit suit in grey.  20160410_091543aNicole Miller suits are not on the website but one can find them almost everywhere online and at brick and mortars.  I have owned Nicole Miller clothing in the past and absolutely loved them.  For the price (I paid around $125 as suit separates at Burlington Coat Factory), you cannot go wrong.  The quality is excellent.  20160410_094956aThis isn’t a four figure suit and I am not going to wear it for maybe more than thrice a year, if that!   Alfani is a private brand of Macy’s.  Macy’s also has under its umbrella of brands: Tasso Elba, Bar III and Club Room.  I have had great luck with the fit when it comes to their Alfani performance and slim-fit dress shirts.  For the suit, also purchased as suit separates, they were on sale for a total around $210.  If I got these when they weren’t on sale, we are looking at a price tag around $650!  SCOREBOARD.  The quality is excellent!  If I had been lucky enough to find one in navy blue, well that would have been showcased here too.  I had both jackets taken in as well as had the sleeves shorten.  The Alfani pants were perfect, the NM pants were not.

For suit pants, I wear a 33/34 inch waist and prefer a 30 inch inseam for a quarter break.  For my dress pants, I indulge a 29 inch inseam because I prefer no break.  Both styles of break, I am allowed to show off a little bit of sock as well as show off my style of shoe.  In addition, I wear flat front pants only.  Pleats are a matter of personal preference as well as body type.  If one is a bit bulky, pleats may be the way to go.  I am lucky my Korean genes afford me good great legs, hence why I wear flat front pants.20160410_095235a

Now back to the tailor.  If you have no referrals from friends (well, are they really your friends?), do some research just as you would when searching for clothing bargains.  Ask around, talk to people, read reviews, make an assessment and pick your tailor.   Something that goes without saying but I will type it, communicate with your tailor!  Make it your pleasure to create a great relationship with him or with her.  Tell them what you are looking for.  Be receptive to input from your tailor.  This is a business partnership where both parties benefit.  When you become a regular, your tailor will take care of you and you should do the same.  If you are absolutely satisfied with their workmanship, not only tell them how happy you are, refer potential clients to them.  I make it a point to tell my friends and co-workers.  Since last year, I had 11 jackets (blazers and sport coats) and 2 suits tailored.  The pants on my NM suit had to be hemmed.  I bought the wrong length because my mind was locked on denim length.  She didn’t charge me for the hem.  It was a token of appreciation for my business and one I was thankful for.  So, what are you waiting for?  Go find that tailor who will assist you achieve your style!  Jal ga!

 

Creating Your Own Style . . .

Is easier than one thinks.  Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.  That there my friend is a quote by the great Li Jun Fan better known as Bruce Lee.  This phrase is applicable to just about anything as well as men’s fashion.  If you are like I am, you observe, you study and apply.

An important aspect (and what I feel in my humble opinion is most significant) of fashion is having a solid foundation.  A solid foundation means having your fundamentals down to a science.  If you ever played (dis)organized sports, there were always those guys who liked to hot dog everything.  What did these show-boaters have in common?   Zero fundamentals.  If you take short cuts, more often than not, everything crumbles like a house of cards.  It’s the same with how you dress.  It is absolutely no question, when you dress well, you will be treated positively.  By being fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.

The genesis of your wardrobe should be based on the classics (the fundamentals).  These being the following in no particular order: navy blazer/sport coat, white dress shirt, light blue oxford, v-neck sweater, polo shirt, v-neck and crew neck t-shirt (white, grey or black), Henley (short & long sleeve), grey trousers, chinos, indigo denim jeans, a tailored suit (preferably grey or navy).  As for shoes, one should invest in black dress shoes, brown casual/dress shoes and casual/dress boots.  A quick surf through the world wide web and what I have presented above is close to what most invite you to indulge save for a few more or a few less.

From this starting point, when you are comfortable, confident and have a grasp of what you desire in your look, you can expand from here and experiment.

The aforementioned list appears it could end up being rather expensive and it could be if you go high end with everything!  But metaphorically speaking, you’re poor & broke.  Many of us are always searching for a deal and they are out there.  For example, in the featured picture, I am wearing a Perry Ellis waistcoat ($28), an Alfani slim fit stretch dress shirt ($13), an Orsini Surrey Collection knit tie ($7) and a pocket square ($6) from a vendor on Ebay known as TheSquarExtraordinaire.  What you can’t see, I am wearing a pair Ralph Lauren chinos ($20) and a pair of Joseph Abboud suede monk straps ($60).  Total price: $134.  The vest, dress shirt, knit tie, pocket square and chinos were purchased from Ebay.  The monk straps from Sierra Trading Post!

Now for comparison’s sake, I chose Nordstrom because it is considered high end.  I took the average of the first 9 waistcoats, white dress shirts, knit ties, pocket squares and chinos listed on the respective site.  For the monk straps, I chose the first 9 suede because this style of shoe is what I wore and is great for summer wear!

  • Waistcoat, $86
  • Dress shirt, $55
  • Knit tie, $63
  • Pocket square, $36
  • Chinos, $68
  • Monk straps, $268

Total price: $576.  That’s a lot of cake.  If you can afford it, go for it!  But if you cannot, there are great, economical alternatives.  My outfit saved me $442.  You are aware a portion of what I saved was used for a day at the vineyard with my better half?

The points I wanted to introduce are from having sound fundamentals, you can expand and create a style suitable to your tastes without working 4 jobs.  Next time, I will elaborate a little further on where to search for deals.  Jal ga!