Barbour Jack Spade Hopper Jacket

jackbarbour2 1024x529 Barbour Jack Spade Hopper Jacket

Barbour, as many of you may know, is one of my favorite clothing brands. I’m particularly a fan of their high quality waxed cotton jackets, which I would say are really their specialty. Plus, I trust their quality because they’ve been doing this stuff since the beginning of ages.

In case you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re most well-known for three jackets in particular, which have not changed in style for quite some time- the Bedale, Beaufort (which is basically a longer Bedale), and Barbour International. All three are tried & true, and if you’ve been searching for a field jacket, I would highly suggest one of those options.

So recently, Barbour has been taking an effort to modernize their brand a bit, and as a result, partnering up with other companies to do just that. They’re releasing collaboration pieces every now and again, and Jack Spade happens to be one of the companies they’re doing it with. Recently, they released the Jack Spade Barbour Hopper Jacket, a cool twist on their Bedale-styled jackets. This is their 2nd time doing this, and I personally think this year’s model is the coolest I’ve seen. See below:

 Barbour Jack Spade Hopper Jacket

Source: Jack Spade

I recently got my hands on one of these jackets, and wanted to share my thoughts about them with you today. Here it goes:

So as far as the quality is concerned, these jackets are pretty similar to other Barbour offerings. The waxed cotton, the detailing, the heft are all reminiscent of their Bedale in my opinion. There are a couple major differences though.

1. It’s navy, not green like most their jackets.

2. It’s actually slim cut, unlike their normal Bedale.

3. It comes with an inner vest (detachable) that has a really cool orange coloring.

4. The collar is different, it’s a club collar on this one.

Here are a couple makeshift photos of me wearing the jacket

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Now, how do I feel about the jacket?

Personally, I think it’s great. It looks sleeker and more modern than all their traditional models. The silhouette is far more flattering, the colors are refreshing, and everything good about their normal jackets still remains.

Now here’s my one problem- the jacket is really expensive. It’s $799 at retail price, though you can get 15% off for signing up through their mailing list. This still puts the jacket at double the price of their normal models. Yes it has a vest as well, but I don’t think the vest necessarily covers the margin. You’re paying for brand and exclusivity if anything.

The good news is that this jacket will probably last you a decade, easy. Barbour does a great job of reproofing their jackets if you request it, so if the wax goes away completely, you can still restore it back to tip top shape.

If you have the money, and have been looking for a Barbour jacket for some time now, check this particular model out. It’s pretty awesome, though a bit pricey. You can find it at Jack Spade’s website.

What am I wearing 3.24.13

Haven’t done a “what am I wearing” post in over a month, so I thought I’d snap some quick photos today in light of the beautiful weather.

Today, I wore a fairly interesting sweater that I haven’t worn in months. It’s by Burberry, and I got it on clearance a while back. Back then, I thought since it was 100% cashmere, made by Burberry, an amazing color, and on massive sale, why not?

Turns out I couldn’t get used to the weird neck shape, since it skirted the line awkwardly between V neck and shawl collar. Thus, the sweater ended up taking a back seat behind my normal shawl collar cardigans and V neck sweaters.

However, taking it out from the back of my closet, I realized it really didn’t look that bad. In fact, the design was kind of refreshing, since it’s not as cookie-cutter as my other knits. I paired the sweater with some dark tan chinos, a lightly patterned white shirt, and brown leather boots. Check it out:

burberry4 1024x682 What am I wearing 3.24.13It may be Spring now, but I’ll continue to wear my boots through the summer. I don’t care what others say.

burberry1 1024x761 What am I wearing 3.24.13I have a hard time finding decent fitting chinos. However, I recently discovered these Alpha Khakis by Dockers, and I have to say… I really like them.

burberry3 1024x682 What am I wearing 3.24.13The incongruent neck design has definitely grown on me.

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Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples | Shirt: Theory | Sweater: Burberry

Belt: Perry Ellis | Chinos: Dockers | Watch: Timex | Shoes: Allen Edmonds

I have to say, the feel of cashmere on the skin is pure pleasure. If you don’t already have a 100% cashmere sweater, I would highly suggest getting one. Looks and feels like a million bucks.

Alright fellas. Till next time.

What am I wearing 2.13.12

A couple months ago, I wrote a post about wearing sport coats casually, and I wanted to put everything I said in there into practice today. This brown, all-cotton herringbone jacket by RRL does the trick perfectly, its design and fabric giving off a very casual vibe.

Kept my shoes, belt, and bag in the same color family as the jacket for consistency, and combined those elements with a very versatile white shirt and dark blue selvedge jean.

  What am I wearing 2.13.12

By the way, if you have the opportunity to get a Filson bag, I highly recommend it. Durable, rugged, stylish, and carries a lifetime warranty. You can see mine gets used quite a bit, as my raw denim has rubbed off on the side of the bag.

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I’m a fan of this jacket because of its herringbone design, which is usually found on wools, but in this case, on cotton.

 What am I wearing 2.13.12

Some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. These suede chukka boots weren’t cheap, but I think they were worth the extra money.

Jacket: RRL | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Shirt: Thomas Mason for J.Crew | Watch: Omega

Bag: Filson | Jeans: J.Crew | Socks: Merona | Shoes: Alden

What am I wearing 1.22.12

Time for another outfit of the day post. Felt like dressing up a bit (ie: putting on a tie and pocket square), but also wanted to remain casual enough to blend into the city a bit.

Here’s my solution:

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Coat: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples | Pocket Square: John W. Nordstrom

Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Tie: Drake’s | Cardigan: Black Fleece

Belt: Perry Ellis | Pants: Ian Velardi | Socks: Merona | Shoes: Paul Smith

So as many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Thom Browne’s branding (the red, white, and blue, generally on grosgrain). That’s exactly why I’m wearing this Black Fleece cardigan along with a relatively conservative outfit. I think a small, but noticeable pop of color can really put some spice into an otherwise “safe” getup, so this cardigan fit the bill for me. I’ll certainly be doing a post about adding pops of color to an outfit shortly.

So until then…

Quick looks & pleasing everybody

I was tossing and turning in bed the other day, unable to fall sleep. In situations like this, most normal people would read a book, count sheep, or just idly lay in their beds till the inevitable sleep haze engulfed their conscience.

Well, I’m a bit weird, and probably not very normal. Thus, as a sleep remedy, I decided to go into my closet and start randomly taking pieces out, just to put them together in different combinations that I thought might work out. Also, I felt compelled to add ties to the mix as well.

It kind of worked, as I was so tired of putting on and taking off clothes that I eventually plopped on my bed and immediately fell asleep.

The outcome is below. And yes, I am actually wearing pants.

mGYcx Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The hunter’s look.

Jacket: Barbour | Vest: Barbour | Tie: Ovadia & Sons | Shirt: Brooks Brothers

gci7r Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The formal look.

Jacket: Black Fleece | Pocket Square: Nordstrom | Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Tie Bar: Thetiebar | Tie: Theory

SFXsI Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The ultra-hyperextended neck look.

Jacket: John Varvatos Collection | Shirt: Black Fleece | Tie: Drake’s

Fiknf Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The cold day layering look.

Coat: Hugo Boss | Knitwear: Banana Republic | Shirt: Black Fleece | Tie: Theory

GkwgP Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The overcoat with suit look… or as I like to call it: blue steel look.

Coat: Banana Republic | Jacket: John Varvatos Collection | Shirt: Ben Sherman | Tie: Ben Sherman

Zqy0X Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The Looper-ish look.

Jacket: Theory | Shirt: Armani Collezioni | Tie: Thetiebar

tSoEK Quick looks & pleasing everybody

The blue, blue, blue, and blue layer look.

Coat: Black Fleece | Jacket: Levi’s | Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Tie: Ovadia & Sons

My first thought was to put these photos on reddit, mainly because I was curious to see which outfits vibed well with the huge crowd over there, and which didn’t. I put the album up on reddit in the morning, walked away from the computer for about an hour, and then revisited its status shortly afterward.

Apparently the album became quite popular in that hour, ultimately hitting the first spot on /r/malefashionadvice, receiving thousands of up-votes, and getting more comments than I could read.

Turns out that pretty much every single look was simultaneously criticized and praised, showing how incredibly different peoples’ tastes are. Some people said my Barbour look was the best, while others thought it was the worst. Some argued that leather jackets should never go with ties, others said leather jackets looked best with ties. Let’s just say there was a lot of noise, and it taught me a valuable lesson.

The lesson is that you aren’t going to please everybody with your look, no matter how great it is. Sure there are rules that you should follow to look better overall (for example, getting things that are more fitted to your body), but even then, you just aren’t going to win everyone’s approval, as everyone’s tastes are different.

I put together 7 very different outfits, and for each outfit I got hundreds of different reactions. At first, I took each comment constructively, learning from what people had to say. Later on though, all I ended up really caring about was my own opinion, especially after seeing how much contradiction there was about what people thought was right and what people thought was wrong.

I think the best thing is for you to feel confident in the clothes that you wear, and present your unique style to the world expecting nothing in return. Sure, positive reinforcement may help you feel better, but ultimately, I think the most attractive thing about someone’s style is how they own their look. The swagger and confidence they have in wearing what they are wearing. The great thing is that no one can help you own your look, only you can.

Anyhow, sorry to go on a rant there, but I hope I was able to at least provide you with some ideas for outfits. Oh, and just kidding about the pants comment I made above. Commando all the way.

What am I wearing 12.23.12

Sometimes, you just want to feel comfortable and warm. Well, for me it’s just one of those days. Here’s what I’m wearing… while heating up some hot water for my tea.

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A shawl collar cardigan can be worn with so much; it’s so versatile. This is a very casual outfit for me, and I feel the cardigan doesn’t look out of place, despite being equally appropriate with a dress shirt and tie.

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Interesting story about the pair of chucks I’m wearing. They were gifted to me by the person who designed them (a designer at Converse). Honestly, I don’t know how many pairs of these are around, but my suspicion is that it’s quite limited. Shout out to my cousin for hooking it up.

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Even if you wear a simple T-shirt, it can still be a solid contributor to your overall look. In this case, I feel like the popping color of burgundy helps this shirt be one of the standout pieces of this outfit.

Cardigan: Brooks Brothers | Shirt: Rag & Bone | Watch: Omega

Pants: Uniqlo | Shoes: Converse

It’s so interesting… I put this outfit together on a whim based on how I felt (wanted some comfort and warmth), but it looks like every item I’m wearing is kind of a “trend” item. The chunky shawl collar cardigan has been the thing to wear this winter, the colors burgundy (or oxblood as many like to call it) & olive green are prime colors for Fall/Winter 2012, and cargo pants have only recently begun to become popular again in mainstream fashion. Maybe I gotta take it easy on the fashion trends!

Either way, thought I’d share with you a comfortable look that you can easily emulate if you feel like it. Happy Holidays folks, stay comfortable and warm.

Now to get back to my hot tea.

What am I wearing 12.8.12

Today is a relatively cold day in San Francisco, even though the sun is blasting like no one’s business. Probably not cold enough to wear my winter coat and scarf, but definitely too cold to go jacket or sweater-less. Thus, I thought it would be the perfect time to bust out my shetland sweater.

Now I’ve had my reservations about shetland sweaters in the past. Not only can they look a little old-school, but they can also be a bit uncomfortable to wear (itchy and scratchy). However, I think if you wear them right, shetland sweaters can be an amazing addition to your wardrobe, both functionally and stylistically. They’ll keep you warm and give you a bit of traditional American charm.

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So clearly, I’m wearing a fairly bold color- deep purple. Well, truth is that I’m a huge fan, both of the band and the color. I think a bold color like this can distinguish you from the crowd and provide a bit of uniqueness to your outfit.

However, I also made sure that I didn’t have any other bold pieces in this outfit, just so I don’t stand out too much. Grey / brown / white can cover the rest.

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Remember boat shoes are generally meant to be worn without socks. Not a hard-fast rule, but I try and follow it.

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Again, I think it’s great to show your shirt cuff when wearing long sleeve shirts under sweaters. Also, an oxford cloth button down, like what I’m wearing, is a perfect item to help shield you from the itchiness of a shetland sweater.

purpshetland2 What am I wearing 12.8.12

Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Sweater: Ralph Lauren Rugby | Shirt: Jack Spade

Watch: Hamilton | Pants: GQ x Ian Velardi | Shoes: Sebago

It’s only going to get colder, so I’m stoked to start busting out some more of my fall and winter clothing to keep myself warm. Who says you can’t look legit while doing so? Cheers friends.

Adding trendy to classic

Generally, I prefer a more classic style. To me, nothing beats a navy blazer, grey flannel trousers, grey cotton socks, black oxfords, and a nicely pressed white dress shirt. However, sometimes it’s fun to mix the trendy with the classic. What do I mean by that?

Well, let’s think about some classic looks that everybody knows of. Solid colored suits.  V-neck sweaters with dress shirts, wool pants, and oxfords. Blue jeans and oxford cloth button downs. These are tried and true looks that have stood the test of time, and can be worn by just about anyone. The problem is that some people might argue these looks can get a bit stale and boring.

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. There are lots of weird and sometimes outrageous trends out there. Take for example pairing running shoes with suits. Or puffer vests underneath sports coats. Dress pants ending at the upper ankles, or upper thigh?

I think there can be a very happy medium between the two. Take some fun and cool trends and mix them into your classic outfit. Put a little subtle flair into your otherwise “normal” clothing.

I’ll give you a recent outfit I wore as an example of mixing a little trendy into the classic:

A classic man would always wear socks, a trendy man will ditch them from time to time (or wear really short socks like I currently am). I’ll go trendy here on this otherwise classic outfit.

A classic man wears wool trousers. A trendy man wears cargo pants. Why not both?

 Adding trendy to classic

 Adding trendy to classic

Jacket: Tommy Hilfiger | Shirt: Michael Kors

Pants: Ovadia & Sons, Gap | Shoes: Allen Edmonds

Try it out. Those that know fashion a bit will compliment you on your trendiness, while those who don’t will complement you on your classiness. Can be a good combo if I say so myself.

What am I wearing 11.18.12

As many of you may know, SF is a pretty hip city. A year ago, I lived in the Mission District, and found that my attire stuck out like a sore thumb, mainly because I wasn’t wearing handmade scarves, cardigans, plaid, handlebar mustaches, and chrome bags.

Well today, I needed to go to the Mission to get some drinks with friends, so I thought it would be fun to put a little hipster flare into my outfit. (IE: cardigan, thick rimmed glasses, no socks, cuffed jeans).

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Glasses: Warby Parker | Cardigan: Gap (similar) | Shirt: Thom Browne (similar) | Jeans: Levi’s

Belt: Tumi | Shoes: Simple (all organic company, just like them hipsters like it)

A couple quick things. First, I always make sure to show a bit of my shirt cuff when it’s underneath a sweater. In my opinion, it’s just a bit cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing that way. Second, I want to mention again that subtle color coordination can pay off. I coincidentally matched my jeans to the navy trim on my cardigan (on the pockets and the middle of the cardigan) and got some random compliments around that. Who’da thunk?

Also, some people might ask if my glasses are prescription or not. Well, they are indeed prescription glasses, and I am one of those people who is somewhat against wearing glasses purely for the look. If you don’t have a prescription, just thank God for your great eyesight, and keep your face bare. No need to hide parts of your face with lens-less glasses or non-prescription nonsense.

Anyhow, till next time fellas, stay fresh.

What am I wearing 11.11.12

Turns out my first post in the “one day” series is taking a tad longer than I’d hoped, my apologies. In the meanwhile, people have been asking for consistent “what am I wearing” posts, so in case you’re curious… here you go.

As some of you may know, it’s getting a bit chilly here in San Francisco. As long as it doesn’t rain, I’m cool with that, as it’s the perfect time to bust out some fall-wear.

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Coat: Banana Republic | Sweater: POLO Ralph Lauren | Shirt: Black Fleece (similar) | Belt: Perry Ellis

Watch: Omega | Chinos: Brooks Brothers | Socks: Merona | Shoes: Calvin Klein Collection

Sometimes it pays to coordinate. In this particular outfit, the centerpiece for my coordination stems from the Ralph Lauren sweater. The sweater has a subtle, but noticeable red polo logo on it. As a result, I layered a red shirt underneath it, which might help make the outfit a bit better than if I wore any other color.

Likewise, I opted for black shoes and a black checkered coat to go with the sweater as well. In my humble opinion, these types of small details can definitely elevate your style to the next level.