creating your own style

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!

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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!

 

Clothes Without Accessories . . .

is like sex without orgasm. –Robert Lee Morris

In my last post for the month of February, I wrote about adding accessories to your style ensemble.  The wonderful (or not so wonderful) thing about accessorizing is, there are endless possibilities.  With endless possibilities, there is always a chance of going a bit overboard.  This is when one takes a step back and makes an assessment of what truly works.  One thing that will always work especially during the Spring, Summer and early 20160508_182223Autumn are nato straps.  The British Ministry of Defence introduced the nato strap as an alternative to the standard watch band.  As with most things, there is always some kind of crossover.  For example, camouflage has crossed over into men’s fashion.  But I reserve camo for the shooting range or for the young hipsters who have the moxie to pull it off most excellently.  As for the reader, I highly recommend getting a few of these.  Arguably the best thing about nato straps is you purchase one one watch then scour the world wide web for straps.  Nato straps come in many varieties as well as price points.  Finding a watch that fits your budget is just as easy.  In the featured picture, one will see the iconic Timex Weekender and a Stührling Original Regatta.  I paid $26.28 for the Timex and $51.12 for the Stührling Original on Overstock.com.  Timex are well, timeless.  I own two Weekenders (a Weekender Forty Chrono) and a T Series with a mother of pearl face.  Stührling Originals are underrated.  I love my Regatta as well as my Newberry Ultra-slim.  I did a lot of research on the brand as well as Invicta.

According to The Gentleman’s Gazette author J.A. Shapira, Max Stuhrling was a master watchmaker who worked under Louis Audemars of Audemars Piguet.  If you20160508_175950 have the money to spend on a Audemars, by all means go for it!  If you don’t have the money to spend, there are a plethora of options for one to look at with the aforementioned being 3 of them.

For the record, just about every watch company imaginable has some kind of nato strap style watch.  One thing you must be cognizant of is the size of the wrist band when you do buy additional straps.  For example, the Timex Weekender pictured comes in at 20mm. The Stührling Regatta in the featured picture comes in at 22mm.  Purchase the correct size (online) or you’ll be waiting impatiently for the return.  Of course, this is where I plug in my go to, Ebay.  The straps in the featured pic as were found and purchased from Ebay.  I paid under $9.59 for each strap with the lowest costing me $7.95.  I may have found them cheaper but the shipping was free through this vendor.  Sometimes, there is no guarantee you will find free shipping through another site.  The shipping charge would pretty much off-set the lower price of the strap.

There is an endless assortment of color combinations as well as just a straight color band. 20160508_181355One can match shirts to straps, belts to straps, pants to straps, pocket squares to straps, wear a suit and go off script with a coordinated nato strap and the list goes on and on!  In my humble opinion, look at the color palette of your wardrobe as a starting point and figure out what you would like to match.  Your foundation should be strong enough for one to see what works and what doesn’t work.  As always, experiment until you pinpoint the style you are trying to convey to the world.  And if nato straps aren’t your cup of tea, no worries.  At the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with the style you are creating for yourself.  Until next time, jal ga!

 

How Do I Look?

Always looking fly, all day!  어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 look good on me! Swag 24 hours! -Beenzino

This, 어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 roughly translates to the fit on my new jeans I bought yesterday (look good on me!).   Denim jeans are another rock solid have when building your clothing foundation.  They are a classic go to that can be dressed up and of course, dressed down.  Most importantly, it is necessary they look good on you!   While there are many different brands and many different styles, my personal favorites are dark indigo denim jeans and selvedge jeans.  While there is flexibility concerning jeans, in my humble opinion as well as others, the aforementioned is the way to go.  But as you are figuring out and experimenting, you will eventually settle on a style that suits your needs and a style you can call your own.

Dark indigo are prewashed and it is highly suggested one does not wash them often because the color will fade.  There are different ways to wash them.  My advice is to research and figure what is best for your jeans. 20160416_170137 Selvedge jeans refers to the self-edge.  In the above pic you can see how clean the edge is on the Uniqlo and Gap 1969s.  The indigo jeans are Urban Pipelines from Kohl’s.  On standard jeans, the material isn’t tightened-up.  When one cuffs a standard jean, you’ll see what I am writing about.  It is strongly suggested one does not wash your selvedge jeans regularly.  But if you do, The Art Of Manliness has a video.  FYI, I paid $29.99 for the Uniqlos and $27.19 for the Gap 1969s both on Ebay.  The former run around $50 & the latter runs over $100.  I saved closed to $95.  The Urban 20160416_170623Pipelines fit me perfect (I paid $9.99 for them thanks to coupon codes).  I own two pairs and a pair of Levi’s.

As stated in a previous blog, always take care of your clothing no matter the price-point.  Think of your investment in clothing as an investment in your body.  You train hard, consume the proper nutrients & get the proper rest.  In other words, you take care of your body clothes.

Now the break on jeans is a matter of personal preference.  I will go with a 32 inseam juxtaposed to the 29/30 inseam I wear with dress pants and suit pants.  Obvious by the pictures above, I indulge a cuff to show off not only the self-edge but the shoe.  The picture below, I didn’t cuff them for effect.  I want you, the reader to see a no break on denim.  Either way, I am still showing off my shoes.  And hoping some yeppun yeoja sees them and likes them!  I digress, experiment!  Before purchasing, try them on.  Cuff them.  Do they look 20160416_165238good on you?  Or maybe you should try a pair with a shorter inseam so you can go with a slight break or no break sans the cuff?  Remember, at the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with your look and your respective purchases.  Once you find jeans that fit you perfect, the easy part is pairing them with a dress shirt, a t-shirt, a henley, a waistcoat, a blazer, a sport coat and so on.  The versatility jeans afford you can be summed at quite simply as like being a kid in a candy store.  Jal ga!

 

 

A Respectable Appearance . . .

is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul.  Karl Lagerfield

And a nice dress/casual shirt helps too.  There are so many designers of shirts and so many different styles one can choose from you may suffer from a case of vertigo.  At the end of the day, most designers will have something you are looking for when building your wardrobe and creating your own style.  There are a few kinds of shirts one should be interested in. I’m not speaking of the classic, modern, and slim fit.   I’m speaking of tab collar, collar bar/pin and flip-cuff shirts.  The latter is of the casual flavor.

In the featured pic, I am wearing a collar bar shirt.  Eyelets in collar accommodate a collar bar as well as a collar pin.  It is truly a classy look that will up your overall appearance.  The main idea behind the collar bar/pin is to accentuate the tie one is wearing by pushing it up from the shirt.  Its genesis is from the 1920s and has been around for many decades.  20160305_184134_bFinding collar bars and collar pins are easy.  Finding a collar bar/pin dress shirt is not as easy.  The price point is high.  In addition, having them custom made may be the way to go which may also be pricey.  But, if you keep searching you may end up lucky as I did.  The  J. Todd dress shirt was purchased on Ebay for $16.99.  It’s a regular fit shirt but it fits like a slim.  Apparently, it was a Marshall’s, Inc. brand and it was made in South Korea (daebakiya!).  The shirt fits perfect so to say I 20160305_182125was rather impressed is an understatement.  Although I would have preferred the standard white dress shirt, burgundy is very versatile.   The tab collar shirt eliminates the need to wear a collar bar or a collar pin.  Also, they are easier to find!  The picture to the right is to show what one is dealing with.  I might as well consider Ebay my go to from this point on.  I won the Robert Talbott dress shirt for $19.  It is grey and has a very small checkered print.  And I basically stole the Oscar de la Renta tie for 99 cents.  Yes, 99 cents.  Robert Talbott‘s shirts range from $195-$425 on Nordstrom’s so I will not state the obvious on this one.

The next style of shirt one should add to their respective repertoire is the flip-cuff.  The flip-cuff is self-explanatory.  It’s an added dimension to one’s style.  If you are a fan of the show Modern Family, you are aware Eric Stonestreet’s character Cameron fancies the flip-cuff shirt.  Traditionalists may will find them rather unattractive and abhor them.  20160305_190647_bI do not go crazy with some of the patterns but I do like them very much.  As I wrote about in a previous post, I have a unstructured blazer with functional buttons.  Flip-cuffs solve the problem when going very, very casual.  The standard seems to 20160305_185815_bbe the oxford blue when flipping the cuff as seen in the picture to the left.  I own a few flip-cuff shirts such as Alexander Julian, Nautica, Van Heusen, and Calvin Klein.  I recently added an Egara, a Jhanes Barnes, and a Robert Talbott.  Egara, pictured to the left, is a Men’s Warehouse brand.  It is a slim fit, made of Egyptian cotton and I purchased it for $15 on Ebay.  The picture to the right is a Jhane Barnes slim fit flip-cuff with some avant-garde designs that was purchased for $20 on Ebay.  Although she is no longer doing menswear (her final collection was the Fall of 13), her clothes are still out there and can be bought at a nice price.

Flip-cuffs are nice if you like to roll up your sleeves.  I rarely roll my sleeves up.  When I do, it will most likely be when I am wearing a waistcoat.  What you are searching for depends on whether you desire to go conservative or wild with the color palette, roll up your sleeves or solve the problem of functioning buttons on your unstructured blazer.  Until next time, keep doing your research and keep experimenting to find your ultimate style! Jal ga!

The Adornment Of The Body . . .

is a human need. I don’t see anything superficial about it unless your life becomes very materialistic.  –David LaChapelle 

During your journey in creating your own style, certain accessories bring another dimension to the potential look you desire.  Over the last few years, tasteful jewellery pieces have quietly made their way back onto men.  Bracelets or as a friend of mine (she is so fashionistic!) categorically glossed my updated profile picture on Facebook, “Yassss. Colors. Prints. Layers. Time . mancelet Stubble chuckle chuckle perfection,” are another item that can make or break img_20160217_190835your outfit.  There is an endless variety to choose from.  And this is wear where the fun begins.  Donning one in conjunction with a watch, it can add a little bit of gochujang to your ensemble.  Wearing too many, as one can find throughout the world wide web, well, let me state it may work for some but I would err on the side of caution.  I am prejudiced in my tastes and by no means want the reader to embrace my standard as their own.  Guinea pig yourself!  Experiment.  Ask questions.  Observe reactions and find what suits you the best!   My standard fair is watch, beaded bracelet and leather bracelet on the right wrist.  Other times, I will wear the beaded bracelet in conjunction with the leather bracelet and leave the watch solo.  With bracelets, it is another outlet for your personality to shine.  I am Buddhist so I have a couple of pieces with Buddha incorporated into the beadwork.  I ordered a few more Buddhist themed bracelets this past week from where else?  Ebay!  Now, there are high-end designers of bracelets but as the name of the blog states, you’re Poor, Broke And Handsome not, Rich, Prosperous And Handsome

20150723_163836In the featured picture, I have a fish-hook bracelet (this is not a makau) that was purchased through Ebay for $4.99.  For example, Miansai makes beautiful bracelets but you won’t find a bracelet under $60.  Title Of Work is another high end maker of bracelets.  Browse, day-dream then smile.  Asos sells bracelets too at a much lower price point but I still suggest Ebay.  All of the bracelets in the above picture were purchased thorough Ebay (for under $40!) except for two.  I won a Tonino Lamborghini stainless steel bracelet on an auction site over a decade ago for under $50.  Roughly around the same time, I spent $125 on the 925 sterling silver dragon mesh bracelet which was purchased from a website that sold Asian jewellery.  For those interested, the bracelet was made in Thailand hence the hook style. 

A recommendation I will intimate is wearing a certain style of bracelet according to season.  Exempli gratia, nautical theme bracelets for the late Spring throughout the Summer.   Of course, you may want that Spring/Summer feeling all year long.  The choice is yours!  Do allow your personality to shine through this outlet.  And yes, do keep in mind the color palette of your clothes but you can be much, much looser in this respect.  Remember, experiment to find, so ultimately the panache you exhibit turns every head in the room!  Jal ga!

A Pocket Square Must Always –

always – be white and a bit wild.  If it is too prepared, it is tacky.  Lapo Elkann

I respectfully disagree about the pocket square always having to be white.  But, you should own at least one!  It is obvious I will be touching upon an accessory, in my humble opinion, every man should use to its full advantage-the pocket square.

The pocket square’s origins can be traced back to Egypt, the Greeks and the Romans.  Most notably, King Richard II of England was the first to use the pocket square as we (should) do in modern times.  A pocket square can make your ensemble go from nice to wow20151010_204916When one has taken the steps to have to have a solid foundation, look to accessories.  What is indispensable to creating your own style is incorporating your individualism.  Personally, when it comes to my pocket squares, I adore lots of color as well as floral patterns.  I know it comes from my Korean heritage.  I often wonder how I was dressed for my 100 day celebration, baek-il.  Once again, I digress. Pocket squares come in cotton, seersucker, silk as well as polyester blends.  When shopping for pocket squares, keep in mind the color palette of your wardrobe as far as dress shirts, causal shirts, t-shirts, and ties.  Depending on the material of your blazer, sport coat or suit jacket, this will determine the pocket square material.  In addition, the formality of the event will dictate the style you integrate as well as the fold of the pocket square you will use.  Another consideration to 20160207_084832add is this: when wearing a tie, never match the pocket square.  There are pocket square/tie sets that can be purchased everywhere.  Avoid them like negative thoughts.  This isn’t something one has to acquiesce halfheartedly to.  You just don’t do it.  For example, if your tie has some highlights of blue contained within its respective pattern, use a pocket square that has a shade of blue that is not similar.  It also, may or may not incorporate a subtle/not so subtle pattern.  Again, be cognizant the color wheel comes into play for your entire outfit.  Now, when one is not wearing a tie, match the shirt whether it is a dress shirt, a casual shirt or a t-shirt.  A pocket square transformed me from bouncer to 20151104_112400casual gent in roughly 5 seconds.  As far as where to purchase pocket squares, I wholeheartedly advise Ebay.  If you have been reading along, you are aware I have an online crush on it.  I have been fortunate enough to find not one, but two vendors I recommend.  The featured pic spotlights pocket squares from The SquarExtraordinaire.  They frequently run specials and are quick with their deliveries.  Those are just some of the pocket squares I have purchased from their store.  I have paid roughly $4.50-$6.00 per square.  They are of great quality.  They have assortment of styles to choose from.  The second vendor I found recently as of December.  Feather And Smith make their own reversible pocket squares.  The second pic features 4 of their pocket squares I purchased.  They sell for $8.95 per square.  They ship quickly and are of great quality too.  I liked the style and the versatility of their pocket squares.IMG_20151225_131920  Having a pattern on both sides makes for a definitive conversation piece.  Although I am certain those of a conservative style will roll their collective eyes at them.   But who cares?  You shouldn’t.  Remember, once you are fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.  At the end of the day, this is what you desire.  A look and a feel you are most comfortable with, confident with, and secure with.  You’re poor, broke and handsome not rich, prosperous and handsome.  At least for the interim.  Of course, this goes without saying, if you can get your hands on some high end pocket squares for a good price, do it!  You can find these gems on . . . wait for it . . . Ebay!.  I currently am bidding on a Tom Ford silk pocket square under $50.  It is second hand and if one takes a gander at Tom Ford.com, they sell brand new $165-$175.  As mentioned in a previous post, second hand stores and the like aren’t anything to turn your nose up at.  Locate them in your city and go spend some time there.  What are you waiting for?

Sae Hae Bok Manee Badusaeyo!

 

Color Me Bad . . .

But you can’t sex me up!  Just some lyrics from an Ice Cube song (in reference to the R&B group Color Me Badd’s song I Wanna Sex You Up) and hypothetically speaking, if your colors are badly coordinated, you probably won’t be getting sexed up.friday_quotes  Color coordination  is of the utmost importance!  It can absolutely make or break your outfit no matter how expensive or inexpensive it is.  Put together the right combination and you can command a room (along with other factors).  Put together the wrong combination, Bob Ross will flunk you no matter how abstract you believe your artwork is.  Now it may sound complicated but it isn’t.  Having a little bit of knowledge concerning colors will assist you when purchasing clothes that are complimentary.  When one observes the basic color wheel, you will note five categories.  These are primary (red, yellow & blue), secondary (a color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors), tertiary (a color resulting from the equal mixture of a primary color with either of the secondary colors adjacent to it on a color wheel), complimentary (colors directly opposite each other in the color spectrum) and analogous colors (are groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, with one being the dominant color, which tends to be a primary or secondary color, and a tertiary).

img_20150406_210017For me to elaborate on how it is advantageous for one to know these colors well, how to incorporate them into one’s arsenal and to touch upon the importance of expanding your boundaries when it comes to using an array of colors would probably stretch me out five post worths.  I rather not drone on but instead I will provide the following links for your study time:

By the way, the outfit ran me $176.01.  It’s a little steep for my liking but the Stacy Adams weren’t much of a sale price at $92.99.  But the tie is by Art (apparently a defunct company & that’s Hangul on it!) and it cost me $6.99 on Ebay.  The pocket square is from my go to on Ebay, The 20150405_125636SquareExtraordinaire for $4.99.  A Perry Ellis Principles waistcoat for $7.99 on, guess where?  Ebay!  A Calvin Klein slim fit French cuff dress shirt for $22.45 on Ebay (you are seeing a pattern, yes?).  A pair of Van Heusen trousers purchased at Kohl’s on clearance for $15.00.  I apologize for the lousy break on my trousers.  My preference is no break or half break but I will discuss in detail on a future post.

The final piece that completes the ensemble to the right and above for which you cannot see are cuff links.  The cuff links are from South Korea and cost me $25.60 on Ebay.  The design is called DanCheong (단청).  There are thousands of years of history on it but I digress.  Accesso-s_l1600ries (jewelry, cuff links, tie bars, collar bars, etc.) can also make or break an outfit.

The key with anything in life is balance.  A little bit of Yin-Yang has never put anyone or anything in an uncompromising situation or position.  Harmony is something we should all look to obtain and maintain in our lives as well in our attire.  Moderation with a splash of style, your style is the way to go!  As you further your studies on men’s fashion, you will proceed to be more comfortable and you will want to experiment.  Once you achieve the look you desire, the sky is the limit.  Arraso?  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!