polo shirt

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!

 

 

 

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!