Category Archives: Man stuff

Manday: Should my crewneck be peeking out? (or just my chest hair)

mellow-rose-pink-shirt-men

Happy Friday!

Today we tackle the pressing question of whether it’s ok to have your crewneck undershirt peek out from underneath your button-down. This question comes up a lot with my guy clients, friends, and even family members.

It’s an excellent question, with proponents on both sides. My feeling? Mostly no but sometimes yes.

First, the mostly no.

white shirt under button down

Having a white undershirt peek out from the unbuttoned collar of a business shirt can tend to look college (a.k.a amateur). But this doesn’t mean you have to ditch the undershirt altogether.

banana republic v-neck tee

Instead, opt for a V-neck. This will give you a layer of protection without popping out to say hi. And as for color, since the point of the shirt is not to be seen at all, you may want to think about a non-white option whose outline isn’t visible under more transparent button-downs. Women encounter a similar problem when it comes to bras showing through shirts, and my advice for them is to go the route of underthings that matches their skin color. Unfortunately this is not the easiest to find for men, so instead opt for grey or brown.

Now the sometimes yes explanation.

d53f0fb5b825c049141310c85ac507febanana republic mens crewneck tee

Once in a while, the best way to hide something is to make it the center of attention. That way it won’t seem like a mistake, or something that just has to be there. You can do this with crewneck shirts by trying contrast colors underneath your button downs. It will make for a cool pop of color in an unexpected place. I don’t recommend this for someone who likes to play it muted and safe in general, as the contrast color will look out of place. However, if you generally play with layers and textures, donning a green, blue, or heather red tee underneath your button-down can be fun. This could prove especially useful for you guys who are sensitive about too much upper chest hair being seen over a V-neck.

Have a burning question about guy style? Let me know and I may just become a Manday topic on the blog.

And don’t forget to follow my cool guy picks on Pinterest. Hours of mindless entertainment. What more could you want for the weekend?

 

 

Manday: A good chino ain’t so hard to find

Welcome back to Manday! I read a WSJ article recently about the evolution of the men’s chino, and wanted to share.

Remember when the guy chino looked something like this? Well, thankfully those days are over. I hope. Gentlemen, please make sure this is the case.

48447_BR6566_mvince men's chinos

Today, chinos have evolved to flattering styles that can be worn in the office, on the weekend, and even out on the town. They’re become–dare I say it–sexy.

Lately, my favorite color is olive. It’s neutral but interesting (same goes for women’s olive jeans).  Also digging light grey, navy, and wheat. And my preferred places to shop for downright sexy chinos are J.Crew, Vince, and Ralph Lauren (I like their 5-pocket style).

Just remember to go with FLAT FRONT (that’s no pleats AT ALL). And if you’re going with a khaki color, I suggest something more saturated, as the light khaki can tend to look like a school uniform. As for fit, give the slim fits a shot. It might feel weird at first if you’re not used to it, but I promise the slimmer cut will make you look taller and leaner. And who doesn’t want that?

I leave you with a sexy man chino shot. You’re welcome.

toil-chino-pant

 

Manday: jeans that don’t cost a lot but still look good

Let’s talk jeans. Particularly guys’ jeans that look good and don’t cost a lot. A tall order to fill in our current atmosphere of super-expensive designer denim. However, finding a solid pair of jeans that don’t cost $200+ can be done!

First, let’s go over the criteria one should look for in any jean, pricey or not. As in women’s jeans, guys should look out for two overall dealbreakers when shopping for denim: wash and cut. To err on the safe side, go for a DARKER WASH. Please please please stay away from light or acid wash. That’s not to say that all of your jeans need to be perfectly uniform in color. Distressing can be interesting and totally acceptable, but make sure the base color is a darker blue. Not this.

On to the cut. Generally speaking, stick to a straight or slim straight. These are the most flattering and versatile. If you want to go slim, which is totally fine, opt for a slim that’s not painted on. You want a little room to breathe. And make sure it’s a slim and not a skinny. There’s a difference.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that squared away, let’s move on to some brands you should totally check out.

Levis 514 jeans

For a roomier straight, the old denim-standby Levi’s is still the best. Especially since the jeans are under 50 bucks. Stick to their 514s for a true straight leg.

jcrew mens jeans

JCrew 484s are the slimmest you can go without going into skinny territory. They give off a subtle hipster vibe without going too crazy.

uniqlo mens straight jeans

Uniqlo’s jeans aren’t as soft, but they offer solid cuts (both in straight and slim straight) that are extremely budget-friendly. The site has limited sizes, but stores usually carry every size under the sun.

Manday, Christmas Style

Happy Xmas eve, everybody! For those of you still stuck in front of a computer (either at work or in order to avoid the fam), here’s the latest Man Monday Manday!

Getting ready for Christmas dinner was always a weird, hilarious process for the men in my house. As opposed to the women, who would make a pre-party out of what we were going to wear, the guys would reluctantly slip into their special-occasion khakis, top them off with the stiff button-down they got as a gift that morning, and promptly wrinkle everything by plopping on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon.

But I digress. If you’re not feeling the obligatory khakis/dress shirt for tomorrow’s festivities, or need some suggestions for how to make your everyday jeans just a little more acceptable for the mom-in-law, here are some options for what to wear for Christmas. Obviously it’s a bit too late to run out and purchase these new items (unless you’re really devoted, in which case, more power to ya), but you can get an idea and piece together some choices from what you have already hanging in your closet.

what to wear to christmas

If you’re a jacket kind of guy–and really, you should be!–then top off dark olive chinos with a muted blazer and checked shirt. This can be achieved with a number of checked shirt/blazer combos that you might have hanging around. And if trousers are too formal for your gathering, then switch them out for jeans. Finish the look with either a dressier black shoe, black desert boot, or even a pair of Converse. Feel free to take it down or up a few notches depending on how dressy the affair will be.

what to wear to christmas

For a comfy yet polished feel, go with a nice sweater/button-down pairing. Try a dark purple V-neck with a lighter purple button-down. This will also work with tones of grey, black, and blue. On the bottom, opt for grey chinos or jeans. And if you want to add some personality, try out a sneaker in a different color. Or stick to a muted boat shoe.

what to wear to christmas

Or just embrace the absolute crazy that is this time of year, and go with a hideous Christmas cardigan over a button-down/tie combo. A pair of oatmeal cords makes it a bit more modern than khakis. But still totally insane. In the best way.

Have fun, merry Christmas!

Man Monday: cool sportcoats that work with jeans

These days, a ton of guys (and gals) work in business casual environments that allow jeans or similar casual pants. Sweet deal, right? Well yes and no. It can be tricky to navigate the weird world of what to wear to a biz casual office. A general rule is to pair denim or chinos with a blazer/sportcoat. So I wanted to devote this Man Monday to talking about the kinds of sportcoats that work best with jeans and the like. Yes, it is acceptable to do a suit jacket with (dark wash!) denim for a casual office setting. However, if you want to take it a step further up the awesome ladder, then consider investing in a sportcoat that stands apart from your suit jackets. You can look cooler that way.

Below are three characteristics to look for when seeking out a nice non-suit type jacket that’s still work-appropriate.

john varvatos USA sport coat

Subtle details.

John Varvatos is the definition of hip yet laid back when it comes to men’s designers. Anyone who uses Iggy Pop to sell clothes gets the cool award in my book. His pieces are pricey, yes, but kind of awesome. Check out his lower USA line for ever so slightly cheaper choices. The reason his sportcoats work in that ‘not too dressy but still polished’ kind of way is because they’re made in textured, darker fabrics, with understated modern details. The one above has leather piping that’s super subtle, but makes all the difference. Keep in mind they are cut very slim, so you may want to go up a size (or two).

 

jcrew herringbone sportcoat

Old school tweed. 

I love J. Crew for preppier sportcoats. These English fox-hunting-countryside-dwelling types are ideal for biz casual because they look great with more modern pants and button-downs. If it’s a lighter neutral color, like above, you can play around with different colors underneath.

perry ellis corduroy blazer from macy's

Non-suit fabrics. 

You can also experiment with different fabrics in a more standard suit jacket cut. Both corduroy and velvet are fun textures to wear with separate bottoms. Just make sure the corduroy is a fine wale (meaning not chunky 70s style) and the velvet is not royal purple. Unless you’re into making that kind of statement. This one above from Perry Ellis looks sleek with grey denim too.

Introducing Man Monday

While I rarely (ok, never) write about men’s fashion on the blog, I still definitely love helping out my guy clients and doling out solid advice. I guess I just never thought to make it a regular feature on TRS. Well, times are a changin! Introducing Man Monday. Basically, every Monday, I will address a guy topic… that’s related to style, of course. For any other advice, I am definitely not the person to ask.

So for our first MM post, let’s talk hats! In particular, winter hats. I was recently asked about the types of acceptable hats men can wear during the work week.

While I love a knit hat (aka beanie), it’s not always appropriate for weekday walking to and from work. Your winter hat has to jive with the rest of your winter gear, namely your coat. If you’re rocking a dressy coat, then a knit beanie can often look sloppy and out of place. Other options are fedora or newsboy, however, both of these take some attitude to pull off. And if you’re not that guy already, then sporting a fedora could feel–and look–awkward. Or grandpa. Or both.

180s ear warmers from EMS

My advice for the work week chill? Definitely go for a scarf and gloves first, then top it off with ear warmers. Yes, ear warmers. Not a hat at all, I understand. But a great option for keeping warm. Practical yet inconspicuous, which is exactly what you want. Allow the dress coat and scarf do the sharp talking for you, and let the ear warmers just do their job.

j.crew cashmere beanie

If you’re in desperate need of something to cover your actual head, then by all means try one of the above options — beanie, fedora, or newsboy. You can even try a trapper if you’ve got enough hipster courage in you. But remember to stick to neutral colors and luxe fabrics. Like this soft cashmere beanie in a classy charcoal. Save the orange for the weekend.