Saturday, November 28, 2009

Style Inspirations

Dear Gentlemen,

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, (for the American readers at least). It's been too long since the last posting and I wanted to update this blog with new content at least once a week. I was walking around Soho this afternoon to check out if there was anything left from Black Friday the day before but of course anything decent and in my size (Medium) were long gone and I left for home with nothing. Every time I walk through streets of Soho however, I am always amazed at all the great outfits I see all around me. New York City is filled with so many creative, and stylish individuals from all around the world and I always find something that inspires me to try wearing something I normally wouldn't. I believe fashion revolves around inspiration, whether it be from other people, through art, one's environment, whatever it may be. I browse through quite a few fashion forums and online magazine pages and always save any outfits that I am fond of. There's been such a gaining popularity for "WDYWT - What Did You Wear Today" threads on so many websites for one to find inspiration from what people are wearing around the world. For this posting, I'm just going to share some of my favorite fits I've gathered throughout the past couple of years. I'm sure you'll love many of them as well.

I recently browsed through J-Crew's new line and found so many fits that I really liked. I'm really impressed by their stuff each season.

Fit #1: This is the first look that really caught my attention. What I really liked about this fit is how well the suit fits this dude. This is a navy wool suit that J.Crew will be offering and it fits like this right off the rack. Yep, no hemming or tailoring needed! The second thing I noticed was the chambray shirt under the jacket. Chambray is a denim like quality shirt and it's been the fabric of the season. J. Crew's version retails at around $98 but I recently bought a very nice one from Land's End's Canvas line (also a new line introduced recently) for $25 shipped! There was a promotion going on at the time but the shirt retails for $32.50, you can purchase that as a replacement for the J.Crew version here.

Fit #2: First thing I noticed was how many layers this dude was wearing and how well all the colors came together on this fit. He's wearing 3 layers at least and he still doesn't appear to be bulky looking at all. The dark grey jacket, navy cardigan, and patterned shirt make it a more casual outfit but it very stylish enough to wear out to almost any social event (not formal ones obviously). His shoes: brown wingtips. Wingtip shoes may remind you of your grandfather however they have gained great popularity within the past couple of years and now even brands like J.Crew have them available as part of their shoe collection. I'm still looking for a more affordable pair but a pair of these shoes are definitely on my "To Buy" list.

Like everyone, my fashion tastes are constantly transforming and I've definitely been wanting to expand the number of suits I have in my wardrobe. I don't remember exactly where I found this picture but after seeing it for the first time in a while, I know why I saved it. A checkered patterned suit probably won't be something I'll be buying anytime soon but if I do happen to come upon a nice priced and more importantly nice fitting one then I might have to just bite the bullet. It's always been a general fashion rule: If you wear checkered pattern on one thing, then there shouldn't be any checkers on another....but his tie goes so well with the entire suit. Many times, fashion is about breaking the rules and trying something new.

This is Emma Watson for Burberry's new winter line. If you don't know who Emma Watson is, she's the little girl from the Harry Potter movie series playing Hermione (sp?). Style inspiration's don't only have to come from male's. After seeing this picture, I really gave thought into looking for a nice khaki colored trench to wear and I started researching over the net to find one that I would like. I've seen tons of fits with males wearing trench coats but this picture really stood out to me and inspired me to go out of my way to look for one to add to my wardrobe. I really can't believe how old and mature this girl looks in these pictures, big ups to Hermione haha.

Haha I can't help but laugh every time I see this picture. This little kid is dressed so well and has more swag than half the adults I see on the streets! This picture is from probably one of the most famous fashion blogs (and also one of my favorite sites to visit daily) The Sartorialist. The people at The Sartorialist really expanded the WDYWT craze, I'm always inspired by so many outfits posted on there so check that out whenever you can. Anyways, back to the outfit. This is the most casual outfit I posted so far and it's one of my favorites. I really like the striped long sleeve shirt and the Converse Chuck Taylor shoes but I think what makes this outfit stand out is the old fashioned straw hat and how well the jeans fit this little dude. I'd love to wear something like this during the spring, I don't know if I'd be able to pull this off as well as this guy though..

Closing Thoughts: There are more than just people that can inspire your fashion choices. There are so many figures in history, pieces in art, and even sounds in music that can affect how you portray yourself on the outside. I don't believe in copying everything to the tee about how another person may express themselves but one who takes something from another and somehow makes it their own in some way, should be what all of us should strive to do. The next time you walk outside, be more aware of your surroundings, pay attention to what people in your environment are wearing, listening to, or looking at. There's always something to learn from other males, females, and maybe even some kids.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick Tips On Self Improvement Pt. 1

Dear Gentlemen,

All of my posts have been revolving about men's fashion but there are just so many ways for a gentleman to improve himself other than what he looks like on the outside. I'm going to go over a few things that I think all of us(especially myself) can work on day to day to help us become a confident, more educated, and improved individual.

1.) Stay Current With the News

There's nothing more unattractive than speaking with someone who just has no idea. Things are happening around us, and around the world every second of our lives. Sure it's impossible to be knowledgeable about every little thing but it's great to know about at least the major things that are going on. If you're like me, than you're on the internet for the majority of the day. Even with hours surfing the web, sometimes reading the news doesn't cross my mind at all. I've come up with a great solution to help me stay current: Setting my homepage to Yep, as soon as I double click my browser I'm led to this site and simply browse the day's headlines. If there are any topics that I find interesting, with one click I'm able to read the entire article. You'd be surprised at how many interesting things you can learn by doing this everyday. I probably spend around 20-30 minutes reading the news like this to start my mornings and then I begin surfing through other websites (favorite blogs, forums, facebook, etc). If you don't like CNN there are tons of other news websites (I also like the New York Times) that provide great information all for free. You won't regret making this a habit! Whenever you meet someone new or just catch up with friends, it's always great to talk about everyday things and be the guy who has a clue to what's happening in the world around them.

2.) Develop Your Voice

Having a squeaky, high pitched voice isn't too attractive but having a nice, deep voice will not only be recognized by your peers but will also evoke a sense of confidence as well. The fact is that not everyone has a deep voice like Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery however there are ways to develop and train your voice to definitely sound a bit deeper. Every individual has a vocal range, from your lowest to your highest tones. If you find yourself speaking to others on the higher end of your range, than you can start practicing to speak more on the lower end of it. You won't sound unnatural or seem as if you're trying too hard because there certainly are times where you probably have spoken in your deeper voice at one time or another. The trick is to utilize this "deeper voice" and try and make it your everyday one. The earlier you start, the faster your voice will develop and sooner or later you'll notice that people will be much more open to what you have to say.

3.) Don't Get Wasted In Public

It's never pleasant seeing a guy puking his brains out, or a girl passed out on the couch of some lounge but I'm sure it's happened to some of us at least once in our lives. In a social setting like a bar/restaurant/club there are always opportunities to potentially meet great people. For example: Your friend invited you to a social gathering at a nice lounge where you could meet a lot of new women. You get to the party well groomed, and dressed in your nicest outfit, ready to start mingling. Everything starts off great; You've met a bunch of great people but have some interest in this one particular girl that catches your attention more than the others. But you start pounding drink after drink and an hour or so later you're in the bathroom with your buddy waiting outside with a cup of water and some paper towels. The next morning you wake up, feeling hungover as ever, not remembering what you said or how you acted towards the girl you were into. Sounds like it would've been better if you hadn't gone out at all! It's not about who can drink the most anymore like the high school/college days. Instead you should pace yourself, converse more, and develop a nice buzz just enough to make sure you both are having fun without having to worry about saying or doing something stupid. This applies to meeting anyone, not only girls. So the next time you're out in a social scene, control yourself, you definitely don't want to be remembered as the guy who couldn't hold his liquor.

4.) Make Exercising A Habit

This is one of the most important ways to improve yourself both on the inside and out. It's hard to consistently exercise but once you develop the discipline to include even a light workout several times a week you'll love it. Not only will you look better in (and out) of your clothes it will keep your overall health in good shape and also develop a confidence like no other. You don't have to work out for hours a day to start seeing results. I recommend getting one of those pull-up bars that can attach to the frame of your bedroom door. Whenever I see this thing I just crank out a few pull-ups as I enter or leave my room throughout the entire day. I also keep a set of dumbbells in the corner of my room, next to my dresser and do sets of those whenever I can throughout the day. Exercising will really transform you into a stronger, healthier, and more confident man. It'll be hard being consistent with this in the beginning, but once you and others start noticing results, it'll become very addicting.

5.) Surround Yourself With Positivity

It's no surprise you and your friends probably talk very similarly, enjoy the same music, and like doing the same activities. That's because the people you surround yourself with will to some degree influence who you are. With that being said, the more positive people you are around, the more positive potential you have to work with. If you're hanging out with people who just like to chill all day, play video games all night, or get drunk and party all the time, you're probably going end up joining them. Now imagine hanging around people who are very eager to learn new things, to exercise, or driven to improve themselves, again you're probably going to end up joining them. Hang around people who are successful and they will only motivate you to become the same.

Closing Words: This is only Part 1 of many parts I'm going to write about that can be nice little tips for all of us to keep in mind. When thinking of many of these things, they were mainly areas that I personally wanted to improve on. There is so much room for each and every one of us to grow, the sky should is the limit as to what we are capable of learning or becoming. Set realistic goals and once you reach them, set even more. Each one of us are given one chance at life to make ourselves great, why not "be all that you can be"?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Me and My Raws

Dear Gentlemen,

I've been thinking about what to write for my next post for the past few days and it dawned upon me as I gave my jeans it's 3rd wash in a little over a year, that's right a year. Now many of you might think it's crazy and even disgusting to wash a pair of pants only a couple times a year but for those of you who know about raw (or dry) selvedge denim, you'd probably give me a pat on the back for sticking it out for so long. For this post, I'm going to give some background info on what raw denim is, how to care for them, and my experiences with my favorite article of clothing: blue jeans.

What is Raw Selvedge Denim?

"Raw" or "Dry" refers to denim fabrics that have not been washed at all after being dyed in production, it is in its "raw" state. The "selvedge" part refers to denim that was made on old style shuttle looms. Selvedge denim is desirable because the edge can't fray like lower grade jeans that have seperate wefts. Shuttle looming is a more time consuming process that produces denim of with a tighter weave, resulting in heavier weight fabric that is built to last.
Example of selvedge stitching

Most people buy jeans that have been washed many times to already have a worn in and faded looking pair to wear. However there has been a tremendous growth in raw denim wearers in the past several years and its slowly emerging into mainstream fashion. As opposed to the washed pairs of jeans you see most people wearing, raw denim will fade according to what the owner does in them on a day to day basis. These jeans come stiff as cardboard, are very hard to move in at first, and the indigo will also bleed onto any shoes you wear. So why wear anything that seems so uncomfortable you may ask? To own a one of a kind pair of jeans, that will fade according to what you do in your everyday life.

Washing Your Raws

When I tell people that my pair of jeans hasn't touched water in over a year they think it's absurd. The reason for this is because with every wash or soak you give your jeans, indigo will be lost and your jeans will become lighter and lighter. Without any heavy wear on them, washing them "prematurely" will just make them soft and eventually make them seem like any other pair of jeans you could buy at the mall. After a few months of wear, you'll start noticing creases all over which will stand out even more after a wash. So hold out as long as you can!

Personal Experiences with Raw Denim

My first experience with raw denim was almost 5 years ago. I had spent a little over $120 on a pair of Nudie Slim Jims that I bought online and wore them everyday for about 6 months. They faded pretty quickly but I didn't like how they were more boot cut towards the leg opening and sold them right after. For the next 2 years I rotated brands from Samurai, to A.P.C., to Flathead, to Dior and more and before I knew it I had around 6 pairs of raws in my rotation! After realizing how stupid this was (I'd never get enough wear in any of these to start noticing any fading) I sold them all and stuck with 2 pairs. My A.P.C. New Standards(Current pair) and my SExI04's(next project).

A.P.C New Standards - Retail: $155 + tax
True Waist Size: 32
Bought a size 29 (APC denim is known to stretch heavily).

Day 1 Very Stiff and Very Dark 6 Months In - Lots of creases, some indigo loss

First wash at 12 months. And I've been washing them now every few weeks. I love how they turned out.

Some repairs on the inside leg:

I'm not going to wear these everyday anymore since I'm pretty happy at how they look at the moment. They'll see wear here and there but for now I'm going to start working on my next pair of raws.

Self Edge x Imperial 04's Retail: $310
True Waist: 32
Tagged size: 30

Closing Words: Raw denim isn't for everyone but if you're looking to create a unique pair of faded jeans in your own way I would def. suggest buying a pair. The dark denim color they first possess is also a great look on its own but once they start fading you'll want to wear them more and more. It's pretty interesting to see how they evolve over time. My A.P.C's have gone all over New York City and New Jersey, have been beat up in clubs, bars, college house parties, and also through hiking trails, camping trips, and boat cruises around the Hudson. $155 is not by any means a cheap pair of jeans but when you are wearing them 5 days a week+ for a couple of years, it's a great investment. Raw Selvedge denim has become more mainstream these days and you can find a cheap starter pair at Gap, Uniqlo, and a bunch of other stores for under $100. I recommend investing at least a bill on your first pair. When it comes to raw denim, you really get what you pay for. If you have any questions of raw denim brands, fits, or sizing info just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Thanks for reading and thanks again for the support.

And also check out my brother's myspace, lots of really great beats :

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Recent Purchases #1

Dear Gentlemen,

The feedback so far has been overwhelming for me. My stat counter reads over 650 unique visitors in past couple of days, I've been getting a lot of great emails and feedback about the blog and it's all great motivation for me to keep this thing running and start posting more and more.

In my last entry, I mentioned that I would be updating every now and so my recent purchases...So let's get right into it! Here's a few things I picked up within the last couple of weeks:

Uniqlo Skinny Fit Cords. Price: $39.50

Corduroy pants are the perfect replacement for my light-weight cotton trousers I loved wearing in the summertime. I had purchased a pair of Topman skinny fit Cords last year but the fit was a bit too slim for my liking. The fit on these however are absolutely perfect; I believe they are based off their very popular T-000 (Skinny Fit-Tapered) model. With the weather turning colder each day, I believe I'll start wearing these as much as I can (I'm actually going to go back and pick up a couple more pairs in different colors!) They are unbelievably comfortable and the texture seems perfect for the Fall/Winter. Also priced at slightly under $40, you cannot go wrong with these. I sized up 1 size on them and couldn't be any happier at how they fit and feel. I definitely recommend picking up a pair of these, you won't be disappointed.

Clarks Black Suede Desert Boots Price: $84.50

My first posting included some information about these boots. The desert boot is my favorite pair of shoes I own and I just needed them in another color way. The suede material looks great in the Fall and how these shoes are able to match with my entire wardrobe makes it an obvious choice to wear whenever I leave the house. I ordered this pair from and received them the next day with their free overnight shipping policy! They also offer the "Cash Back" option when you go through their website using the Bing search engine. The % cash back offered differs everyday, anywhere form 1-30% so be aware of that if you decide to order a pair.

Uniqlo Heat Tech Long Sleeves/ Long Johns Price: $10.50 Each

These were actually my favorite recent pickup. I usually get cold pretty easily and would try and layer as much as I can during the winter times to keep myself warm. Uniqlo Heat Tech saved my life. I bought my first pair of these last winter and they literally helped me survive until the Spring season. These are great for wearing under your everyday clothes, whether you go on an outing or stay at home and bum all day. Not only are these super comfortable, they will retain as much heat as possible under your clothes to keep your entire body warm. Sure wearing these alone might make you look like a joke but they're fine when they're covered up with pants and a warm top. They introduced Heat Tech socks as well this season, when I go to pickup some more Cords, I'm gonna grab a couple pairs of the socks as well(My feet are freezing as I write this). These should make great gifts for the family during the holidays and they'll only cost you $21 for the set!

You can see my reflection in the 2nd pic haha

Here's what it says on the back:
1.) Heat Generation : When HEATTECH absorbs body moisture, the movement of tiny droplets actually generates heat to keep you warm
2.) Heat Retention: Air pockets between the fibers retain both body warmth and the warmth generated by HEATTECH's moisture absorption.
3.) Odor Control (What!): A special antibacterial agent in HEATTECH helps to minimize odors.
4.) Stretchable Comfort : HEATTECH stretches to give you a perfect fit and maximize comfort.
5.) Quick Dry : HEATTECH fabric wicks away and quickly dries moisture. Perspiration dries up instantly, so the fabric remains dry and refreshing.
6.) Anti-Static: The fiber also reduces discomfort from static electricity, especially when putting on and taking off the garment.
7.) Non-Deforming : Highly resilient and durable, HEATTECH maintains its shape even after repeated washing.

It does all this for $10 bucks?!?

Closing Words: As I talked about before, to minimalize spending you should only buy things you know you will wear, and all of these are pieces I will need and love to wear this season. I didn't spend too much and got 5 great items that'll keep my shopping addiction quelled at least for a little bit. If you don't live near a Uniqlo, you can call their Soho store at: (917) 237 - 8800 and complete a phone order.

Thanks for reading and start posting some comments guys! Thanks for the past comments and I really enjoy reading/responding to all your emails. Cheers

Monday, November 2, 2009

Look and Feel Better..Spend LESS!

Dear Gentlemen,

First off, my apologies for taking some time to write another posting. I'm sure the past Halloween week/weekend was a bit hectic for you guys as well but the holiday is officially over now! My father was visiting from Los Angeles over the weekend and had been wanting to check out the Uniqlo store in Soho for quite some time. The interior of the store is pretty amazing, with very high ceilings, great displays, and an array of colorful pieces all neatly folded and stacked sky high.

2nd Floor, Uniqlo Soho

As I was browsing their new winter collection, I couldn't help but notice all the people around me purchasing what seemed like hundreds and hundreds of dollars of clothing. Now if you know anything about Uniqlo, its become a favorite of mine because of its great assortment, decent quality, and most of all its affordability. All these people seemed to be "impulse buying" which means that they would just purchase things on the spot without giving it much thought. Now I know most, if not all of you guys are all on some type of budget due to the economy so I thought I'd give some quick tips on shopping and fashion to help you look great without putting a huge dent in your wallet.

Shopping Tips for Gentlemen On a Budget!

1.) Don't Love It? Don't Buy It! - That's right! No need to purchase anything you have mediocre feelings towards. Only buy items you know you will definitely wear. Over the past year, I've tidied up my closet a great deal by only spending money on pieces that I absolutely loved. Having a smaller wardrobe filled with great items is much better than having a huge collection of things you may never even wear. The phrase "it's about quality, not quantity" couldn't be more true. I also save a lot of time picking out what to wear before an outing because I already know what I will choose will look, feel, and fit great. So the next time you pick up something to buy make sure it's something you will surely enjoy!

2.) Timeless Classics - There are the many items in a Gentleman's wardrobe that simply will not go out of style. These are pieces that can stay in your closet for years and still not look outdated. For these classics, finding something of nice quality is definitely worth the few extra bucks. They'll feel better, look better, last much longer and guess what, you won't have to worry about it going out of style! In this case, spending more initially might save you tons in the long run. You'd be surprised at how many classic items there are in a Gentleman's closet, in this post I'll go over just 3 of them. (I'll probably dedicate a post in the future to this topic alone so stay tuned for a more detailed assessment!)

a.) A White Button Down Shirt - This shirt can be worn on any occasion. Invest in a high quality, perfect fitting one and it'll never let you down!

b.) Ties - Wearing ties have become trendier than ever. Over the past couple of years I've acquired quite a few ties that I've been able to wear to formal and also very casual events. Sure the skinny tie is in but your tie collection should definitely include regular width ties as well. Wearing a tie along with your everyday button up shirt will make you stand out just a bit more and I recommend having at least a couple of nice ones to choose from. Again, these won't ever go out of style so it'd be smart to invest in some nice ones.

c.) Plain White Tee's - Who doesn't wear one? Over the years, I've looked for the perfect fitting plain white tee and tried brands from Hanes to Uniqlo, but my favorite basic tee is from Kirkland. I bought a 6-Pack of these as Costco for $20 and couldn't have been happier. The quality on these shirts are superb, the cotton is very thick and most of all I love how it fits slim and long. These still feel great and retain their shape after several washes too unlike other shirts where the cotton fibers seem to break down and change form. This is actually the only white T-shirt I wear, I have a bunch of them and they only come out to a couple bucks each! Here's how they look like:

3.) Sales Rack? Find Gems! - There are nice things on the sale rack, you just have to look. Every time I go shopping, the first place I check is the sale's rack because I usually find at least 1 item worth purchasing that is marked down anywhere from 10%-75%+ off! Another helpful tip is to talk to the workers there, they can tell you exactly when certain things go on sale so you can be the first to choose from these discounted items before all the sizes are out. On many occasion's I've become very friendly with the salesmen at the store and they have given me a bunch of coupons and some even offered to let me use their employee discount!

4.) Hit Up Those Outlets! - You don't always have to go to the retail stores to shop, most of the in-store items are often available at the outlet stores at a discounted price. Another plus is that these outlets also have in stock great pieces from past seasons that aren't available at the retailers anymore. There have always been nice things that I simply couldn't afford or purchase at the time of their release that I found at the outlets for much, much cheaper. I definitely recommend hitting up your local outlet from time to time.

5.) Sample Sales - Tons of brands offer sample sales at the end of each season where you can find their collection at highly discounted prices. Although most of these sales are in stores, there have been a rise in online sample sales throughout the past couple of years. My favorite sale site is Gilt Groupe. This company provides sample sales on more than 1 brand EACH DAY for you to choose from. They also provide a calendar for what to expect throughout the week which makes it easy to plan shopping ahead. They always offer a variety of great brands (Burberry, J. Lindberg , Ralph Lauren, etc). Check out their site here. This website is invite only so if you need an invite just send an email to and I'll be happy to send you an invite. Invite your friends as well and receive a $25 bonus to your next purchase!

Closing Words: There are really tons of ways to make yourself look great without spending a whole lot. I've gotten tons of compliments on things I've worn that were purchased on sale from places like Uniqlo or even The Gap. It's just about how you put together all these individual pieces to make you look different from the guy next to you. Also, I just want to reiterate how comforting it's been to minimalize my wardrobe. It gets less messy, it's easier to pick out things, and every piece looks great and feels great. I encourage you all to get rid of things you'll never wear, you can donate them or even sell them on Ebay and make a few extra bucks. I'm sure the economy has negatively affected us all in some way or another, but how we portray ourselves through fashion and style should not be deterred!

I'm also going to start updating a "Recent Purchases" topic in the future so stay tuned for that and more. Thanks for all the encouraging words guys, reading your friendly emails and comments really motivates me to write these posts. I really encourage any form of discussion in the "comments" section and again, any questions/concerns please send them to: Cheers!