Feather And Smith

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!

 

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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!

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!