Gotta Have It – 5 Fall Accessories for Men

Sunglasses1. A Fine Scarf.  Most men are afraid to wear a scarf or presume it to be an itchy, unbearable, uninteresting accessory. I beg to differ. A scarf keeps the chill in and the warmth out during harsh winter months. Low grade scarves are itchy and unravel easily. Chip in a few extra bucks and get a soft, merino wool scarf or a cashmere one for a splurge.

2. Gloves.  No matter what type of fabric you pick, choose a darker glove which will hide wear and tear better. Leather gloves are the ultimate indulgence and will keep your tips toasty.

3. Sunglasses.  We’ve all seen celebrities wearing those huge bug-eyed sunglasses. You don’t need bug eyed ones, sunglasses are a trend for men too. Just because it is cold doesn’t mean those UV rays aren’t pecking away at your skin. Aviators are always a classic if you are unsure about what style to go for.

4. An Umbrella.  Axel wasn’t kidding when he sang it out about “cold November rain.” Get an umbrella or three to store in convenient places like your home, office and car.

5. Laptop Bag.  No, it’s not a purse for your handbagphobes out there. It’s a bag to carry your laptop around in. If you choose, you can also store some other stuff in there too but it’s a laptop bag, not a women’s tote!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org.

Fall Officegear

Man in SweaterTired of wearing the same old sports coat to the office? Well your co-workers are probably tired of looking at you in that tired coat too. It’s time to spice it up a little bit while you are warming up for winter.

First, to keep warm in the cold, you’ll want to dress in layers. We are not talking about the ‘fashionable’ layers that is trendy for women right now (if you even knew about that!). We are talking about wearing an undershirt beneath your button up shirt. Once you’ve got on your button up, if you aren’t a top dog, you can either throw on a tie or a jacket – yes, you can choose either or – put on your slacks and be out the door. In cooler months, opt for a sweater in lieu of a jacket. A tie underneath makes a sweater look a lot more pulled together so you strongly consider the tie/sweater combo especially if your boss is a hard headed on the dress code.

And if you are the boss, you might want to keep sweater wearing to a minimum and maximize the tie/jacket combo. As the pres, head exec or whatever your status is, it probably would not be wise to show up with the sleeves of your button up shirt rolled to your elbows and jeans on your bottom half. Having on a jacket and tie looks more professional and that is probably the look you are going for considering your head honcho status.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org

Silly, stupid sock fever

A fashion trend, purportedly started in Silicon Valley, has more than a few early adopters.

The New York Times described it this way: “It signals that you are part of the in crowd. It’s like a secret handshake for those who have arrived, and for those who want to.”

Patterns range from stripes to polka dots to super heroes like the Green Lantern.

The Wall Street Journal’s Teri Agins recently answered reader’s questions on the subject.

“Memo to all you fellows who finally got used to slipping your bare feet into driving loafers: You’re behind the curve. The cutting edge now belongs to those geeky guys in their wild and crazy socks. Novelty socks are the technology set’s version of Wall Street’s graphic neckties and silly suspenders of the 1980s.”

She says to forget rules about coordinating socks with pants. Instead, go for a sense of adventure.

“If you’re more downtown to begin with—skinny jeans, cargoes, khakis and hoodies—then, go for the gusto of the wackier sock patterns.”

The sock craze is quickly becoming a popular pastime. “But don’t just fill your sock drawer with the loud argyles and souped-up stripes. Be authentic to your individual style.”

Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs on quality, craftmanship and luxury

MARC JACOBS

The Wall Street Journal‘s Tina Gaudoin recently caught up with fashion designer Marc Jacobs for an interview where he described designing with his own savvy instincts rather than watching sales statistics.

“Since Jacobs has taken the creative helm at Louis Vuitton, where he has been responsible for some of the company’s most lucrative and fastest-selling products, the LVMH-owned brand has gone from strength to strength, with sales now estimated at more than €6 billion.”

 

Jacobs says that fashion is all about change. “For me, fashion is about a journey, it’s about going on a trip and taking with you what is always a loose interpretation of the brand,” he said. “I think of the customer as coming on that journey with me.”

Quality, craftsmanship and luxury are the buzz words in Jacob’s design.

“Those three words are always at the forefront of what we do. I apply the principles of the brand to the ready-to-wear, the jewelry, the accessories—to everything we do, in fact. Everything at Louis Vuitton is about quality.”

Jacobs, a New York City native, is a thinking man’s designer. “I think having a certain intelligence within design is important,” he said. “I’m naturally drawn to perversity and the idea of questionable style, but I don’t like to be too literal with it. I like to play with the idea of imperfection.”

Growing male appearance obsession depicted in documentary ‘Mansome’

Mansome,” the latest documentary from the director of “Super SIze Me,” provides an in-depth look at how male vanity is on the rise in America today.

“We’ve created this society where what you project externally matters, almost more than anything else,” said director Morgan Spurlock after a screening last month. “To say it doesn’t matter how a man looks anymore is untrue.”

“Mansome,” which opens in select cities this week, features vignettes on individuals such as champion beard grower, a pro wrestler and a barber who creates customized toupees.The documentary also includes commentary from actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

“I think male vanity has lived in many different forms,” Ben Silverman, an executive producer of the film told the Boston Globe. “But it may be entering its most superficial era ever. It was once tied with Darwinist elements such as procreating. Now it’s about six-pack abs and fake tans.”

The New York Post, however, panned “Mansome” in a review that said “The movie purports to be a lighthearted look at changing notions of masculinity and appearance. But unless you find something intrinsically hilarious about a man getting a pedicure, laughs are scarce.”

The consistently sweet smell of a succesful actor

Raul Esparza, who stars Jonas Nightingale in the musical “Leap of Faith,” has a cologne    ritual for his plays.

He uses particular colognes to conjure sensory images. “A particular smell puts me in a place so much faster than any intellectual work I could do,” he explained to the New York Times Magazine.

Esparza selects a scent and wears it until the show shutters. He’s been wearing Tom Ford for Men for this role.

For his Tony-nominated role in “Company,” Esparza chose Royal Water by Creed. “It smells like money — expensive, crispy and chilly,” he told the Times magazine. “You inhale it and ummmm, wealth! I saw my character, Bobby, as an advertising executive living in SoHo: extraordinarily successful and an ice-cold human being.”

For those looking to conjure sensory images on a budget, Esparza has also been known to sport Old Spice, because he is drawn to tobacco-y musky smells.

The modern manzere, or is it the bro?

Our friends at Askmen.com recently tackled the age-old question of how to contain man-boobs that was the basis for a classic “Seinfeld” episode. The modern day answer is far removed from the memorable bro versus manzere debate between Kramer and Mr. Costanza.

Q: I am fighting the man-boob battle. What clothes should I be avoiding and which ones should I be wearing?

A: Women have been using shape-wear for years to help smooth lumps and bumps in order to get closer to achieving their ideal figure. For some reason, though, shape-wear for men has virtually remained a secret, despite being readily available. Try starting with a shaping T-shirt as your base layer, like a seamless nylon model from One Flat Jack. It will compress your chest without feeling uncomfortable, leaving you with a slimmer looking physique. Over top, layer a dress shirt that skims your body but has breathing room, and pair it with a single-breasted, dark blazer worn unbuttoned.

‘Mad Men’ Bring Plaid Back

Mad Men Plaid

'Mad Men' enters the plaid dimension.

The fifth season of “Mad Men,” which premiered on AMC recently, made a statement in Men’s fashion with the return of the plaid sport jacket.

Set in 1966, this fifth season features a departure from the drab suit colors of previous episodes. Colorful checkered suits and sport coats, which pay homage to the mid to late 1960s, have made a comeback on runways this spring. Gucci and Costume National debuted check jackets at spring/summer shows this year.

The throwback plaid jacket look may become a must-have this summer.

Style matters even to the hunters

Now more than ever, men are focused on what image they project based on what they wear.

In the age of Internet, men can research their suits and sport coats online like they would with a new car.

“I’m not just talking about a `fashion guy,’ ” said Gilt Groupe’s Tyler Thoreson. “For many men, your wardrobe is part of your program of discernment. They’ll learn about it like a car or a wine or a watch.”

Men then hit the stores or online retailers, such as Suitbargains.com, like they are on a mission, said Eric Jennings of Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Men travel in herds, and when it’s OK in your friendship group to care about how you look on the weekends, it spreads pretty quickly,” Allen Edmonds CEO Paul Grangaard told the Associated Press. “Since the recession of 2008, you’re always networking. Men dress better for midweek coffees and lunches and on weekends because you never know who you’ll run into where. You always want to look secure, stable and reliable.”