A simpler kid

You know, when I was a kid, I wore strictly second-hand clothing. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thriftway, you name it. Our family didn’t have much money, and I was going to be growing out of my clothing anyway, so why bother with fashion?

Personally, I think it was a good thing. Shopping that way helped me really appreciate buying a new shirt or pair of jeans when I got in high school. I hopefully plan to raise my future kids the same way.

That being said, there IS something awesome about kids who look as fashionable (if not more fashionable) as their adult counterparts. I came across a Buzzfeed article this week where a toddler’s mother dresses her kid like a walking GQ advertisement. This kid looks amazing! Check out some of his pictures below. And follow him on Instagram if you want more:

 A simpler kid

 A simpler kid

 A simpler kid

 A simpler kid

 A simpler kid

 A simpler kid

10454163 737646282924760 1053428156 n A simpler kid

Little guy’s making me look like an incompetent dresser. Props to him and his mom for keeping up with the Instagram account. We all know it takes discipline to keep these things going icon smile A simpler kid Happy Friday folks.

 

Top 10 trendy staple pieces

A long time ago, I wrote down a list of what I thought was the man’s “essential wardrobe.” You see, the great thing about pieces on that list are that they are timeless in every way.

You could have worn a navy blazer or pair of dark blue denim jeans the same way 15 years ago as you can today (albeit with a bit of a different fit). However, I will admit that it can be boring to wear the same “essential” clothing day in and day out. Maybe that’s why there are trends coming in and out every five, no, two years.

Well, in honor of these trends, I’d like to show you my top 10 trendy staple items. These are pieces that could or could not be in style 15 years from now, but look damn good today:

1. Olive green field jacket : Seems every person I know (girls included) is wearing the olive green field jacket right now. For good reason too – it looks good with everything.

2012 11 19 Field Jacket Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: onthestreefashion

2. Gray sweatshirt : This rather simple piece has gone from lazy to stylish in only a couple years. Some reason I’m all for it.

 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: lifestylemirror

3. Naval stripe shirt : Love this for layering purposes. Oh, and in my opinion, Saint-James does it best.

peacoat3 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: manfront

4. New Balance suede sneakers : New Balance hit a home run with these retro-styled shoes. Can’t live without my pair.

new balance jcrew 1400 fall11 1 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: highsnobiety

5. Henley long sleeve shirt : I don’t know if this counts as a trend, since henleys have been in forever, but I feel like I’ve been replacing all my normal tees with henleys for the past several years.

Henley 1 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: Primermag

6. Denim jacket : I was against this trend for quite some time. Maybe because I used to associate denim jackets with bikers and bullies. Anyhow, my thoughts have clearly shifted. (Don’t wear it like the guy below though, gotta have some contrast from the pants).

Nordstrom Mens Shop GQ Trend Report Denim Jean Jackets 1b Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: Nordstrom

7. Pocket crew neck tee : Simple but stylish. Kind of like that gray sweatshirt above.

 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: everlane

8. Braided belt : Leather or fabric, doesn’t matter. Braided belts go amazing with any casual outfit.

tumblr m97cexaGh91r04lv9o1 500 Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: urbaneclub

9. Colorful socks : You all know how I feel about colorful socks. They’ve been in for a while now, but I still like ‘em. Adds spice to any getup.

bold sock with gray suit Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: Maurilioamorim

 

10. Varsity / baseball jacket : So random to me that a varsity-styled jacket has become trendy. I can’t help but think they look awesome though.

4c47b68ee1f64de285a977d3f502f811PTetEj Top 10 trendy staple pieces

Source: glossi

 

So there you go, my top 10 trendy staples. If you’re wearing one, two, or any combination of these pieces, I guarantee you’ll get a compliment or two throughout the day from coworkers or friends. They’ll all suddenly think you’re in the know.

Go get ‘em.

Roll ‘em up

I mentioned this in my last post, but there’s a menswear trend out there right now that I’m a big fan of. It’s a small thing, but significant enough to at least call out.

And that trend is: messily rolling up your sleeves or pant cuffs. Or probably more accurately, strategically rolling up your sleeves or pant cuffs in a way that it looks unintentional. This can apply to so many different clothing pieces as well- sweaters, jackets, chinos, jeans, etc.

Maybe it’s because I’m not as tall, so rolling up my sweater cuffs or pants is something I would do anyway. Maybe it’s because it looks kind of “I don’t care-ish,” which I’m a fan of. Either way, I think the trend is fun and easy to implement, and can possibly help make you look a bit more stylish.

To illustrate, here are some pictures from fashion brands/magazines across the web.

Screenshot 2013 10 09 10.04.06 1024x450 Roll em up

Source: J.Crew

Screenshot 2013 10 09 10.09.51 1024x453 Roll em up

Source: J.Crew

 Roll em up

Source: JNorman

 Roll em up

Source: Dapperedition

Not bad huh?

This little technique can help you look a bit more relaxed and casual. It also has the added benefit of exposing your ankles and wrists, which is helpful if you wear a watch (and/or bracelet), or want to show off some of that ankle. It’s something I’ve been doing a lot more of recently, and would encourage you to as well.

Rapid Fire Questions #3

31479 logo Rapid Fire Questions #3

It’s that time again. That time where I answer a bunch of random menswear-related questions as briefly as I can. Sorry for the brevity, but it’s also kind of the point. Most of these are based on emails I get, but some of them are based on people just asking me from time to time in person.

Purely my opinions, but hey, why not put them out there. Here are my last two rapid fire question sessions: 1 , 2. Without further ado:

How many sunglasses do you own? Just 2.

No show socks or no socks? No show socks. Hygiene matters.

How do you organize your shoes? I have a shoerack on my door. It’s this one.

J.Crew or Banana Republic? J.Crew, mainly for their partnerships.

Any celebrity’s fashion you hate? Yes, Russell Westbrook.

Best inexpensive watch brand? Timex for quartz, perhaps Orient for automatic.

You like Fall fashion or Spring fashion? Definitely Fall. Way more interesting pieces.

Shoes or boots? Boots are great, but definitely shoes on this one. 

Most coveted watch? Patek Philippe Nautilus, too bad it’s about a thousand times what I’m willing to pay at the moment. 

Any piece of clothing on your mind now? I need a pair of khaki shorts. It’s 82 degrees in SF right now.

Best brand gone bad? Hugo Boss. Poor decision to outfit the Nazi Party. 

Argyle socks or striped socks? Striped- the more colors the better.

Favorite type of dress shoe? Brown calfskin wingtips.

What is this tech company that you work at? I don’t know why I get so many emails about this one. I work at Google.

What’s a good way to find out if your shirt sleeves are the right length? Check this out.

Wallet advice? Keep it minimal. Money clip, card holder, or small bifold. 

Alright fellas, there’s my 3rd Rapid Fire. These are kind of fun actually. If you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Here’s my ask me page.

Till next time. Enjoy the weather out there if it’s as nice as it is over here.

The art of getting dressed

 The art of getting dressed

Before work, school, or just going out in public, we all stand in front of our closets and make a conscious decision on what we will be wearing for the rest of the day. This process fascinates me, as each and everyone of us is faced with the same dilemma, yet we all make different decisions based on our personalities or circumstances.

To some, getting dressed is merely a functional process of covering one’s body with clothing. To these people, it’s a matter of what can be reached the quickest, rather than what can look the best.

To others, it’s a ritual that must be painstakingly consistent, down to a T. Whether it be based on a rotation or season, these people need to be dressed a certain, unchangeable way, mainly to make sure they don’t break what’s working.

And of course there are people who think a bit more about what the occasions (and people) in front of them will look like, and try to dress accordingly. They want to portray themselves to the world in a certain light, and serve a tailored message to those who look at them.

I don’t believe anyone is right or wrong in this matter; it’s all a matter of choice. However, let me tell you why I personally think the ritual of getting dressed properly in the morning actually matters.

DSC 0440 1024x682 The art of getting dressed

To me, getting dressed is more than just putting on clothing. It’s a time when I get to decide what type of image I want to put in front of others. Without speaking a single word, I will already have portrayed a certain message, swagger, and lifestyle just from the outfit I put on.

If I’m wearing thick gold chains, baggy acid-wash jeans, and high-top Jordans, I’m clearly sending a different image for others to identify me by, than if I’m wearing a black suit and tie. And as you all probably know from personal experience, first impressions are incredibly important, almost unfairly so. So why wouldn’t I want to carefully craft the message I send to others?

Now, people will argue that it doesn’t matter what others think of you, or that people who judge you for your choice of your clothing are just plain superficial.

To some extent, I agree. We shouldn’t take other peoples’ opinions too seriously, and superficial judgement can be misleading or unfair. However, the truth is that we don’t live in a world where other peoples’ opinions don’t matter at all. Your relationships, your decisions, and even your career are influenced by peoples’ perception of you, and you have no way to avoid it. The moment you step out into the public, there are expectations of you, and if you want to gain respect or paint a favorable picture of yourself to others, you better make the right impression, which might include learning how to dress properly.

When you know the rules of dressing properly, and the types of clothing you need to attain, it will certainly pay off in the long run. The opposite sex- and same sex- may appreciate the effort, the level of respect you gain from the general public will likely increase, and you’ll feel more confident about yourself, as your clothing will serve as an extension of you.

Also, whether we like it or not, people choose to interact with us differently based on our clothing. Walk into a luxury hotel with a baseball hat and baggy jeans; I guarantee the amount of service and attention you get will pale in comparison to when you walk into that same hotel with a sport coat. I’ve done these types of social experiments myself… and I can confirm it. I’m even thinking of making a video about this phenomenon.

So in all, I want to encourage you all to think about what you wear just a little bit more. Express, empower, and of course, be yourself through your clothing. Craft the message you want to send to others, and show them that you’re willing to put in the effort.

By virtue of visiting a blog like mine, I’m confident you’re already on your way there, but just in case, I thought I would reinforce the topic with this post. Of course in a billion words or more, in true Simpler Man fashion.

Rapid fire questions #2

rapid fire Rapid fire questions #2

Thought I’d bring up another round of rapid fire style questions. Compiled by my friends, answered by me. Again, these are just my personal preferences, so take ‘em or leave ‘em as you wish. So here we go:

To cuff or not to cuff pants?  Casual pants, yes. Dress pants, no.

Which is worse, pleats or four button suits? Four button suits.

Are you interested in women’s fashion? Not particularly. A fashionable woman though… that’s another story.

Favorite menswear blog recently? Menswear Dog.

Patterned or solid color shirts? Always solid first, patterned next.

Wide or slim ties? Slim. Though it generally depends on your lapel.

Favorite color of pants? Gray.

Lace up or loafer? Lace up all day.

Tie bars, worth it? Yes. They’re only 15 bucks at Thetiebar.com.

Crazy patterned/colored socks… gimmick or here to stay?  I think the craziness will go down eventually, but it’s just socks, not suits, so buy ‘em while you can.

How do you layer if it’s hot? Layer thin / breathable fabrics, and don’t overdo it.

When is it douchey to wear a tie? When you wear one purely to outshine everyone else.

Most versatile color? Gray.

Least versatile color? Neon pink.

Best dressed celebrity? Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Should you own more brown or black dress shoes? Definitely brown.

Vans or Converse? Converse. Jack Purcells to be more specific.

Single or double monk shoes? I prefer double.

What fragrances do you own? YSL, Versace, Dior.

What’s your favorite department store? Nordstrom for service, Barney’s for selection.

Best place to buy really budget clothing? Uniqlo, Costco, and recently, JC Penney.

H&M or Forever 21? Neither.

There you go, my rapid fire for this week.  I want to elaborate on some of these points in more detail in future posts, so watch out for some of those.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think. Till next time fellas.

Ask me: Pitti Uomo

doyougrazia 441793 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

Courtesy: Complex Mag

What do you think of these outfits from Pitti Uomo? Seems a bit extravagant to me. – Ronald

For those of you who don’t know what Pitti Uomo is, it is a menswear trade show that occurs in Florence, Italy twice a year. Some of the world’s top designers and labels will converge at this location to show off their new collections for the season to come. It’s also a time when people in the industry will wear the most fashion-forward stuff you’ll ever see, and take pictures of each other out in the streets.

I personally think that the outfits people wear at Pitti can range from beautiful to laughable (or both). Some people put together combinations of clothing that are both innovative and inspirational to me. For example, I saw people at Pitti using colorful gloves as pocket squares for their outerwear. Fashionable and practical? Boy did I want to go out and put that in practice immediately. Also, some of the outfit color/pattern combos are beautifully executed, and I’m extremely jealous of the high quality garments being worn. Kiton, Isaia, Brunello Cucinelli, good lord.

xJNM5 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

At the same time though, I am completely turned off by the absurdity of what some of these people are wearing. Trendiness is off the charts at Pitti, and I feel like conservatism is sometimes laughed at.

Suit shorts? Of course, but only if it’s above the thigh!

Jackets shrunken to toddler sizes? Hmm, shall we try baby sizes?

Women’s hats and meggings? Maybe we should add a bow to our hair as well?

So I guess that’s my long way of saying that the outfits at Pitti can range from ludicrous to fabulous, and most of what’s being worn should be seen as fashion-forward and trendy as opposed to classic and timeless. Probably fun to look at and take small ideas from here and there, but not necessary to emulate in its entirety. Definitely not dogging on the event or the people who attend it, as I think events like this are necessary to move fashion forward, but you probably won’t see me in some of the more outlandish Pitti-wear anytime soon.

So there you go, my thoughts on Pitti Uomo. Oh, and if you want a laugh, here’s an excellent article about how to “fit in” at Pitti Uomo.

Rapid fire questions

rapidfirelogo Rapid fire questions

Recently, a buddy of mine asked me a bunch of quick style-related questions, and I thought it would fun to share them with you. Won’t put too much explanation for each answer, since they’re meant to be quick, but know that these are merely my preferences, based on my own opinion, nothing more.

Biggest style pet peeve? Shirt collars hanging outside of sweater necks.

Favorite color to wear? Navy.

Jeans or slacks? Jeans.

Brass buttons on blazer cool? Not my favorite look. But cool.

Corduroy or velvet? Corduroy.

Favorite combination of two colors? Purple and grey.

Hat or no hat? No hat.

Favorite piece of clothing? My trench coat.

Worst trend? Meggings.

Best trend? Knit ties.

Fashion or style? Style.

Leather jacket or wool overcoat? Wool overcoat.

How much life should I expect out of my dress shoes? With a nice pair, 4+ years (this depends highly on the type of shoe and how often you wear them).

Traditional or contemporary style? These days, they seem to be kind of one in the same, but I’ll say traditional.

Best dressed man you know? Nick Wooster.

Favorite clothing material? Leather.

Pay most for what item of clothing? Watch, then suit.

Jewelry, yes or no? Wristwatch only.

Goofy or ironic ties okay? There’s a time and a place, but usually no.

How many pairs of shoes a man should own? 5 minimum in my book. (Athletic, street sneaker, dress brown, dress black, casual leather).

Whew! Tune in for the next one not too far from now. If any of you guys have a list of questions for me like this, shoot them my way via the comments below or by email!

Wardrobe pieces you can save on

saving street Wardrobe pieces you can save on

I know I’ve been harping a lot of you to really invest in certain pieces of clothing. I believe that spending the extra buck on a pair of nice shoes or a suit will likely save you a lot of headache and wasted dollars in the future. Not only will you get more wear out of these pieces, but you’ll also feel better wearing them.

However, investing so much in every piece of your wardrobe can get expensive… real expensive. Truth is, I think there are some areas where you can actually save money, and still look/feel great.

Here’s where I try and save money when purchasing clothing:

T-shirts: I don’t think there’s any reason to get fancy with T-shirts. I prefer button-up shirts in more dressier situations anyway. As long as your T-shirts are basic (no logos), and fit well to your body, you’re good to go. I usually wear Calvin Klein from those 3 packs at Ross, and Banana Republic T-shirts when they go on sale for 40% off.

Sleepwear: No need to impress anyone with your sleepwear. Good news is, you can find some really comfortable and decent quality stuff out there for cheap; just head to your local Macys. Or I guess you could wear a suitjama.

Socks: No matter how nice your socks are, at some point you’ll end up ripping holes through them due to natural wear and tear. Sure, some socks may feel better against your skin, but have you felt the Merona ones from Target? I think they’re pretty decent, both in design and comfort. Best part? They’re $2 each.

Swimwear: I usually get my swimwear from Target, JC Penney, or Old Navy. No problems so far, and I still get the occasional compliment.

Underwear: You’ll be going through these as often as socks, so I think an inexpensive pair of Hanes boxer briefs from Walmart should do the trick just fine. Just make sure they fit snugly to your body and are comfortable.

Ties: Some ties are very nice, and it might make sense to spend the extra money on one or two solid staples. For everything else, I think you can get away with paying under $25 for a decent tie at your local Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s, or TJ Maxx.

Seasonal/trendy attire: There are some overtly trendy items out there that likely won’t last for more than a single season. If you must take part in such trends, I say buy cheap, and think of those pieces as easily disposable.

Accessories: Apart from a nice watch, I think you should save on most accessories. Why get a fancy, bulky Prada wallet when a $10 stainless steel money clip will do? Do you really need fair-trade, rare-picked silk from the highlands of the Himalayas fabric for your pocket square? I don’t think so. Want a nice tie bar? Go to thetiebar.com and get one for $15. Anyway, hope you get the point.

Henleys and long sleeve shirts: My henleys are generally from Old Navy or the Gap, and they’ve held up marvelously over the past few years. When the time comes to replace them, I won’t care too much considering that I paid under $12 for each of them.

Now of course if you have the money, I think it’s always best to buy quality clothing, which can come at a cost.

However, for the rest of us who don’t swim in money, but are looking into purchasing a whole new wardrobe, the items above might be some good places to save a bit.

Trends of 2012

Happy New Year, my stylish friends!

I hope 2012 was an excellent year for you, and that you look forward to an even better 2013. Just to reminisce on the year that passed, here are some fashion trends I saw really surge up in 2012.

Knit Ties: Knit ties might have come back before 2012, but 2012 was certainly the year they started to show up everywhere. Love ‘em myself, and wish I had more occasions to wear them.

ascot black and white striped knit tie Trends of 2012

Double Monk Strap Shoes: This is also a trend that came back a couple years ago, but it remained strong in 2012. As you guys know, I like to spend a bit more on shoes than any other pieces of clothing, so I probably won’t be investing in a pair of double monks, since I find them a bit trendy. It’s probably in the best interest of my wallet.

 Trends of 2012

Bright Colored Chinos: Didn’t succumb to a pair of colored chinos, as I feel the trend will disappear soon. I’ll leave the colored pants to my female counterparts.

DSq2 BoA Topman HaberdasherNYC Trends of 2012

White Pants: Not much a fan of this trend. Don’t get me wrong, I think white pants can look good when they are the right fit, and on the right people. However, maintenance must be a pain, and they are also incredibly flashy. Again, I’ll leave these to my female counterparts.

T1EijIXkNbXXasACk  110432 Trends of 2012

Double Breasted Suits: The double breasted suit keeps going away and coming back, from what I’ve seen. 2012 marked a year that the double breasted suit came back, but with an investment piece like a suit, I’d rather stick with the classic single breasted, two button getup.

doublebreasted Trends of 2012

Cargo Pants: Got myself a pair of cargo pants from both Gant by Michael Bastian and Uniqlo this year. I’ve always loved the utilitarian aspect of cargo pants, and I think the fashion world got the fit right this time.

Cargo Pants Trends of 2012

Fair Isle Sweaters: Fair Isle sweaters made a comeback this winter and I admit, I wasn’t sold at first. However, the more I saw of them, the more I felt like I needed one. There’s something very old school about fair isle sweaters, and I think it’s that particular characteristic that makes them desirable to me.

Fair Isle Trends of 2012

There you go! Some fashion trends I saw in 2012. Pick and choose carefully, as most of these will likely go out of the style in the next few years. Again, happy new year folks!