Insta-recap #2

It’s been a little while since I did a recap on my Instagram photos, so I wanted to post some up here so you can stay up to date with my menswear adventures.

Again, I’m no Instagram master, and have found myself being rather lazy with the app, but I do think it’s a great platform to be creative on, and I’m continually learning. Some people are natural pros at finding the right time, place, and shot for their photos, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one of those people. Either way, here they are, and follow me at @simplerman if you’re interested in seeing more.

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After a long day in the rain, it’s good to dry your clothes properly.

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Harris Tweed. They make some of the finest tweeds on earth. Rough as hell to the touch, but that’s part of the charm.

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Some new kicks. Vans Authentics for the win.

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I’m highly impressed with the fabrics and colors in this outfit.

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Gotta match the wild colors on my plate and cup. What better way than with my socks.

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Just a touch long on the sleeves, but I’m a fan of this jacket.

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Khaki pants + navy jacket. One of my favorite color combos.

And there you go. A sneak peak into my Instagram account. I’m still trying to figure out what direction I want to take my pictures. San Francisco street styles? Pictures of clothing boutiques? Outfit of the day pictures?

Anyhow, whichever way I take it, I’ll continue to make it my goal to bring you interesting, quality content. Just know that I’m still learning.

My new year’s style resolutions

Weirdly, I take new year’s resolutions kind of seriously. Even if I fail, I’m usually determined to get as close to my goal as I can for the majority of the year.  This year, my resolutions include cooking at home more often, playing my musical instruments regularly, and actually reading books, but I don’t want to bore you with details on those.

More interestingly, here are my style-related resolutions, where I’m relying on you guys to help keep me accountable.

 My new years style resolutions

1. Layer more often.

Layering multiple pieces of clothing allows you to show your creativity and style a bit more than… well, not layering. Though layering is especially appropriate during the fall and winter, I still think it can be done properly all year round. There’s just more substance and variety when you start combining multiple pieces to create a cohesive outfit. It will stand as one of my top style goals for 2013.

handing over cash My new years style resolutions

2. Buy only if I love.

Sales can be irresistible, and often too hard to pass by. For example, I recently saw some authentic Harris tweed sport coats go on sale at Walmart (who’da thunk?) for $75 a pop. Ridiculous price for such a high quality garment. Well, just because the price was right, didn’t mean everything else was as well (it fit boxy, they didn’t have a color I liked, and the armholes were too big).

Through the years, I’ve been shafted by sales too many times to count, ultimately spending money on things I didn’t need or want, that could have gone to something I truly loved. My goal is to stop the impulse shopping, and focus on just those pieces that won’t leave my mind after I’ve tried them on in the store. Makes more sense to invest in things I love rather than spill money for things that are just OK.

nph 3 My new years style resolutions

3. Own a signature look.

Developing my signature look has been a work in progress for a while now, and that hasn’t changed entering 2013. I’m starting to understand what I feel most comfortable in, and conversely, what just isn’t me, but again it’s a work in progress. Is it the rugged Americana look, consisting of flannel, denim, and waxed cotton? Maybe it’s the sleek, precisely tailored European suits and wool outerwear look. I guess only time will tell, and it’s my mission to get closer to figuring it out this year.

Anyhow, I hope you guys keep me accountable. And good luck with all of your resolutions as well. I hope you are all able to achieve your highest highs this year. Seize opportunities, grab life by the horns, and stay legit.

Wearing sport coats casually

Sport coats are technically supposed to be part of a casual outfit. In the old days, it used to be that on the days that one was not wearing a suit, it would be customary to relax at home with a sports coat on instead. Boy have the times changed. Today, the moment you put on a sport coat, you’ll get plenty of questions asking why you’re so dressed up and formal, not dressed down.

Overly casual dress has become the name of the game, and thus I see far less sport coats worn in public. Instead, a weekend outfit would more likely be comprised of a North Face jacket, distressed jeans, and Vans than a sports coat and chinos.

The traditional way to wear a sport coat would be to wear it as an odd jacket that pairs well with, but doesn’t match your trousers. For example, people will often wear navy sport coats with grey flannel trousers. Or maybe heavy brown tweed sport coats with tan khakis.

Well, even though the times have changed and people aren’t wearing their sport coats as traditionally as I would prefer, I still think there are plenty of ways to wear them casually, all without looking like too much effort is being put forth. Here’s an example of how I would wear a sports coat fairly casually:

tweed2 Wearing sport coats casually

I’m wearing this Harris Tweed sport coat with a pair of dark denim, a casual button up, and a brown belt. Since the jeans, shirt, and belt all scream casual, I thought putting a tweed sport coat into the mix would be a good way to dress the outfit up, but still remain relaxed.

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Tweed is a good material for the fall, and can look a bit less dressy when compared to a worsted wool jacket that looks like it came straight from a suit. For this reason, tweed allows you to dress down easier than other sport coats probably can.

This applies to materials like seersucker and corduroy as well (tweed and corduroy are more for the winter, cotton and seersucker are more for the summer).

Sports Coat: Michael Bastian (similar) | Shirt: A.P.C. (similar)

Belt: Club Monaco | Jeans: Tellason

Now, technically you could still dress this type of outfit down even further, going with a T-shirt or sweater instead of a button-up shirt. I say go for it as long as everything looks nice and fitted to your body. Not my first preference, but I’d say it’s fair game. All I’m really trying to say is that the sport coat was, is, and always will be an amazing piece in menswear and because people consider it too formal today, it is utilized far too sparingly.

If you have to dress a sport coat down to feel comfortable wearing it out, do so, as I think it will still elevate your style game. You’ll get much joy out of wearing one, I promise.

Wish List #3

So Christmas is coming soon and people are shopping off the hook. As a result, new and shiny things are starting to catch my eye, and it’s no good for my crying wallet. Here’s my wish list for December.

Filson Harris Tweed Bag

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Filson is my favorite company for durable men’s bags/luggage. They make bullet-proof products that are meant to last, and I mean it. Each of their products employs a lifetime warranty, so once you get one, you’re set. Also, remember how I told you all that I have a weakness for tweed in an old blog post? Well, Filson has taken advantage of my weakness and released this sexy Harris Tweed version of their uber popular 257 style bag.

This thing is perfect as a daily commuter bag for those who carry a laptop, books, and other large items on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I already own the original 257 myself, so it would be quite a waste to get the above, although I can’t say I wasn’t tempted.

Crockett & Jones Highbury

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This shoe is amazing. To me, it embodies exquisite craftsmanship and timeless design, two characteristics that are always welcome in my book.

Also, there’s more. Not only is this shoe made by one of my favorite shoemakers, Crockett & Jones, but it was also worn by one of my favorite film icons, James Bond, in the movie Skyfall. I’m not going to say anything more about this shoe because it’s out of my price range, and the pain of that reality is lame.

Davek Solo Umbrella

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I am currently living in gloomy San Francisco without an umbrella. Crazy? Yes. Stupid? Yes.

After being hit by one too many rain storms this past week, I have made a rather obvious decision to buy myself an umbrella, and no one is better in this business than Davek. Like Filson above, Davek also offers a lifetime warranty on all of their umbrellas. That, to me, is ridiculous since I’ve personally broken too many umbrellas to keep track. Clearly this indicates that Davek knows what they are doing, so I’m sold. I have quite an itch to get their all-black Davek Solo… too bad it’s pretty expensive ($99) for just an umbrella.

Rag & Bone Shawl Collared Cardigan

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Okay, so I’m cheating a bit here. I already ordered this one (and it’s on its way), so it should technically be out of my wishlist, but I thought I would still put it up here. Recently, Target and Neiman Marcus did a collaboration event where they brought together 24 high-fashion designers (think Thom Browne, Marc Jacobs, and Oscar de la Renta) to create 50 unique holiday items at relatively inexpensive prices. Genius idea. Among all the items, there were only a few targeted towards men, but thankfully, this beautiful cardigan was one of them.

Rag & Bone is actually a company I’m quite a fan of, and I love shawl collared cardigans, so this one was a no-brainer for me. I’ll let you know all about it another time, but go and get yourself one if you’re in need of a nice sweater for winter.

So there you have it! To all of you who also have Christmas wishlists, let me know what items are on your mind; I’m curious to know!