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:
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...
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.
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.
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)...
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.