Five Shopping List Favorites for Him From a Female Perspective

So, I felt like it was time to finally give the boys a moment in the spotlight on The StyleShaker. The concept of 'shopping' translates to something completely different for men, this I know after having spent time working the 'floor' at Neiman Marcus. I actually adored when a husband would walk in on a mission, it was like heaven. Decisions were made quickly, no over-analysis, no trying on for the best friend, no nada (totally aware that I'm generalizing the shopping habit of an entire gender here, but I'm thinking this scenario isn't too far from the norm). Simple shopping, done and done.

So I scoured the web, hit up my favorite e-commerce boutiques, and honestly, it was a challenge to find men's clothing & accessories, especially at a price point that didn't make me want to laugh. So here is what I came up with, a men's shopping list of hand-picked pieces, some basic, some more-than-basic, from the female (fashion industry vet) perspective:

1.

I adore Edun when it comes to women's apparel, and I'm happy to say that said adoration carries over to menswear as well. The cut of this blazer is clean, the one-button closure slims and streamlines, and the overall look is modern as far as layering goes. Kind of obsessed with this guy...

2.

I love chukka boots. They're not for everyone. It's a preppier look and far more casual than other boots on the mens footwear scene so that that into account. The Red Wing pair below has a distressed leather upper, nice, with not to large of a sole so you can wear them well under some straight-leg jeans or pants.

3.

Here's the thing, having spent over a decade in the fashion industry, I have developed habits, some good, some not-so-good. It's not an industry built on minimalist concepts, as you know. We love our excess, our embellishments, and so on, but there has always been a part of me that dies (positive use of the term that I've now created in my head) for the simplest look in the book, a white tank and jeans.

My styling habits tend to get me into a more creative flow when it comes to pulling looks together, I love a good challenge, but there's truly something to be said about throwing on a couple of basics and looking just as good, sometimes better, than donning apparel fit for the MET gala. So, this next pick is a nod to that simplicity. There's something about a man who can pull off a simple shirt and jeans that just gets me, and many of my female counterparts. There's just something about that paired-down look that can send us into a tail spin. When it's done well, it's dangerous.

4.

Drop the backpacks men, ok well maybe just the ones that are falling apart. Graduate to the next level with a messenger bag. Oh, and would you look at that? Here's one that fits the bag bill perfectly from Marc by Marc Jacobs, AND, is under five-hundo. Don't wince, you'll have it forever (tip: make sure to bring in your everyday bags to a cobbler that your friends, most likely your female friends since they're doing it already, recommend; the TLC on the leather is a small price to pay to keep this piece working for you over the next few years)...

5.

Hi, love, and yes I know it's Versace, and yes, I know it's very streamlined, but from the female point of view (well, this female's point of view) this jacket is brilliant. If a man walks into a room with this on his back he will get my attention, hands down. Should he be carrying an extra glass of Cab Franc in his hand as he walks in my direction, bonus round.

source: 1. Edun One Button Twill Woven Blazer (www.nordstrom.com), 2. Red Wing Handsewn Chukka Boot (www.store.americanapparel.net), 3. Slub Long Sleeve Bar Stripe Crew Neck Tee (www.express.com), 4. Marc By Marc Jacobs Messenger Bag (www.mrporter.com), 5. Versace Trim Fit Dinner Jacket (www.nordstrom.com)

Now's not the time to slow down the shopping speed, if anything, these five picks were just a warm up. Shop more hand-picked favorites for him (and her), updated weekly and added to the shelves of our 'happy place,' otherwise known at the StyleShaker Closet:

Now it's time for a little zen moment amidst the frenzy of the day via my new favorite quote-let that I have finally started applying to my every day existence (took me a few years to get this one; and I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm learning which is good enough):

It's SO true. Actions speak louder than words, show me don't tell me, when someone shows you who they are, listen, and the list goes on people. Words are just that. They have power, yes, I mean, I wouldn't be writing if they didn't. I love the written word, but when it comes to reading people in my life, they're usually the last thing I look at. It gets even trickier in a world where relationships can be built via email and texts (face time needs to be a part of that equation, lest we forget, we're human after all). Words inundate us at every turn and we're trained to give them our attention, which is all fine and good, just make sure that those words are followed up by actions.

You'd be AMAZED at how many answers you will find to the things in your life that confuse you if you just sit and contemplate the actions you see versus the words that are coming at you. I'm amazed by how quickly I forget to do this, so I have to write myself little reminders, hence this blurb. Hopefully it's not just self-fulfilling. Hopefully it resonates, and if not, there's always more shopping to do. Always...

See more when it comes to men's fashion, what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop, here.

How to Wear a Men's Blazer, A Layered Look with Jeans For the Boys

Yes ladies, this one is all about how to wear a men's blazer. You read correctly. This time it's not about the dolls, it's time for the guys to get their rightful cameo.

I'm the first one to admit that we have completely neglected menswear on the site. Shame on The StyleShaker. Yes, I said it. After ten years spent in an abnormally estrogen-heavy industry, my fashion focus as the editor became a bit narrowed. Until now that is...

After a couple of convos last week with some close friends, I realized (took the longest route possible to finally see the obvious here, nothing new) that The StyleShaker is, and should be, universal when it comes to what to wear and how to wear it.

To say that the shopping habits of a man differ greatly from a woman would probably be one of the largest understatements I've made this year. I used my guy friends, my 'focus group,' to peel back a few layers on how men shop. What I found with the men is that there's still a good level of thought put in, it just stops at that and doesn't continue down the rabbit hole of over-analysis like some of their female counterparts. You want to look good, of course, but you don't want to have to think about it or spend like there's no tomorrow on trends. Once you get a little direction, find something you like, the decision is made. Decisiveness is a beautiful thing, so in order to keep the momentum going, I'm serving up a little how to wear it look, focusing on a men's blazer, this time around it's a check number from Mango (check=plaid).

I figure, since I'm always asked on trips to help lay out what to wear for my friends, I might as well share the styling love and give you a female high-end fashion veteran perspective on how to pull a look together and make it your own.

source: www.shop.mango.com

It's all about the layers on this one, so think Fall and less Summer. Easy for those of you living anywhere but below the Mason-Dixon line. For those of us still sitting in the heat, it's time to visualize for a minute. Here's how to wear it:

1. H.E. by Mango Technical Jacket (www.shop.mango.com) 2. H.E. by Mango Prince of Whales Check Blazer (www.shop.mango.com) 3. Charvet Micro-Check Dress Shirt (www.neimanmarcus.com) 4. Skinny Stripe Tie (www.express.com) 5. Santoni Men's Classic Suede Chukka Boot (www.dsw.com) 6. 7 For All Mankind SLIMMY - Slim Straight Jeans (www.piperlime.gap.com)

I pulled the men's blazer and field jacket directly from the editorial shot after shopping around and not finding any solid comparisons at the price range Mango is working. Side note, the blazer is shown with a vest but that's just styled like that for the product shot on the website. This is all blazer, sans vest.

I love a good layered moment. You don't have to polish things off completely, but a little structure here and there goes a long way over a great pair of straight leg jeans. The look walks the fine line between dressed up and casual by taking what could be formal (blazer, tie, etc) and matching it with some distressed jeans and field jacket with cargo pockets.

To me, this is a great way to pull off a daytime look if you don't have to be in suit-mode all the time. Love it.

That's just one take from the Menswear side of the fashion biz, see more when it comes to what to wear out there, how to wear it, and where to shop for everything from the latest trends to absolute classics in fashion.