Thursday, July 28, 2011

men in black

Today as I drove my Mini Cooper through downtown Seattle I got a lot of good people watching in and I noticed a common theme to many of the men scattered across the streets of my city--and realized I need to blog about them.  Wait, let me get my badge on...I am going to start with some fashion police do's and don'ts for men, mere opinions from me, but hey, its my blog.  I will start by saying there is no doubt that women love a well dressed man.  And guys, you don't have to spend a ton of time or money on it, but you are not excused from some basic rules of dress.
Let's just start with checking your calendar.  Its 2011.  That means that if you are wearing jeans from ten years ago, this is not a badge of honor.  I mean, great, you can still fit into those pants and all, but the thing is, styles of denim change for men too, not just for women.  While some of we women may chase the constant updates of style a little more closely than other women and men, it is still important to make sure that the waistband of your pants are not hanging down super low or located anywhere near your armpits.  Every man should own dressier dark jeans for a night out or to step it up a notch from your favorite Levis.  
And speaking of waistbands, if you are wearing a t-shirt with your shorts or pants, please keep your waistband hidden.  My biggest pet peeve ever...t-shirts tucked into your pants---double yikes.  Don't do it.  Please. And don't clip anything to your belt have a back pocket, use it.
T-shirts.  We all love them.  Just not when they are too short, too tight, or making some statement about being with stupid. Cool graphics, yes!  "Funny phrases", no!  Add a couple plain black & grey basics to your closet each year--Velvet Men makes great ones. 
I think shoes are a big deal.  You don't need to run around in Gucci loafers all the time (unless you are able, and then good for you!), but try to skip the cheap shoes.  Its the worst.  Take care of your shoes and they will last for years-- its a worthwhile investment.  No puffy all white sneakers either unless they are the classic Jack Purcells. (love yours, Jono!) And have some fun!  I happen to think Converse sneakers are very sexy on men, particularly when paired with khaki pants and an (untucked) button down shirt.  Big kisses.
Also on my list of loves for men:  leather sneakers, Ray Ban sunglasses, a tweed sport coat worn with jeans, a new white t-shirt underneath any and all shirts, a well fitting outerwear jacket, dry cleaned dress shirts (especially white) paired with jeans, pants without pleats (always), solid cashmere v-neck sweaters,  motorcycle boots, a good watch, and an awesome smile. Gets me every time.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

fall into place

Yesterday I met my friend Kirstin for a little "retail research" for this blog....and we had a great time.  I went to preview the fall trends at Nordstrom after combing my fall preview mags and the zillion emails I get regarding same.  I had in mind what I was looking, but being a big online shopper, it is always a treat to see things in person as well.  I am rarely off the mark, but there are always the nice surprises of finding that not so expensive item that looked good in the catalog looks fantastic in real life as well.   Budget wise, I had to pass on several things that I really wanted, but I have them filed away as must haves the closer we get to season, which is, unbelievably, a month or so away. In the meantime, the Seattle weather has been disappointing and so I won't be adding any more summer to my already barely touched wardrobe.  I am moving on mentally to my favorite season, fall.
Here are the fall trends that I am loving the most--wedge booties & wedge tall boots, the color burgundy, fur accents, capes & ponchos, skinny jeans with a coating or sheen to them and skinny jeans with a flare bottom, and 70's prints in dresses & flowy blouses.
The wedge bootie is a must for updating your boot collection.  Over the knee boots are still hot so hang on to yours, and adding a suede wedge style is a great way to go paired with a fun wide wale corduroy legging in black or brown....I like the wedge and body of the boot to match, not a fan of a different colored crepe sole.  I chose a grey lace up bootie style that was both comfy to walk in and is perfect for skinny jeans or tights and a dress.
I am toasting the fact that the lovely color of wine and burgundy have been reintroduced into the fall palette.  Its always a fantastic color to wear with grey or black, or even cream.  I am on the hunt for a fantastic burgundy patent handbag and my dream item in this color has got to be the Haute Hippie Burgundy Fur vest I saw yesterday at Nordstrom.  I cannot find a photo of it online but it is on the upcoming sale.  If you love burgundy, go for it, you lucky girl.
Fur accents and full on fur vests & coats in both faux and the full on real deal continue to be strong.  If you were smart enough to love this trend last year you can trot out your furry friends again this fall, and there are beautiful new cozy sweaters that have fur accents that are fantastic new twist on the fuzzy stuff.
I bought a great lambswool poncho from H&M last year that is cozy and functional as well as cute, and was happy to see lots of great choices in ponchos and cape style coats, as well as the poncho style sweater.  The trick to this style is to definitely have a slim fitting pant on the bottom--otherwise you will just be a giant ball of fabric.  I love the sweaters in a poncho style, but beware of getting swallowed up by them, a cropped style with a dolman sleeve is a perfect alternative if you want to keep a slimmer look.
I sung the praises of my JBrand Wax skinny denim this past year and they are still my go to pants for a night out.  Yesterday Kirstin pulled the JBrand Gigi black cropped flair jeans and I fell in love again.  They have a gorgeous sheen to them--a more subtle way to shine than some of the almost sequin or sparkling denim I have seen for fall.
There were lots of flowing blouses in matte suede like fabrics, or patterned silk they definitely had that 70's flair to them.  Dresses too had a pop art design in the fabric--it definitely looked of DVF to me--and of course DVF continues to wow us with her gorgeous prints and new & classic silhouettes.
In accessories, I loved that cuffs were still strong, and am loving both the snake embossed and filigree styles.  Belts are strong, wide suede around sweaters and dresses or to add a pop of color, and big rings are still strong as well.
There are lots of fun things to choose from and the good news is that if you invested in a few key trends from last year they are still relevant this fall as well.  You can update them easily with a belt, cool cuff, or wedge boot.  Do your homework, check out a few of your favorite websites, and go forth and shop.  Then you can stash them away until the leaves turn, knowing you are ready for a new season.  Most of all, have fun.  That is what its all about.  Cheers.