Fashion & Beauty

Men’s Office Style: Volume Four

I saved this one for Friday because it seemed like kind of a Casual Friday look to me. (Full disclosure: these pictures were taken on a Tuesday.) I feel like if I were a guy, this would be the kind of oufit I’d try to get away with most often. Not that he doesn’t look great, but there is something to be said for comfort.

Alec

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Button-down: GAP, Shirt: H&M, Jeans: Levi’s 511s, Shoes: Clarks Chukkahs, Glasses: Warby Parker

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I feel like this deserves a caption but I don’t even know what to say.

How would you characterize your style?
Cool guy? I don’t know. My style is beyond characterization.

What are you influenced by when choosing clothes? Is there anyone whose style you admire and try to replicate?
I feel like I’ve succumbed to consumerism, but I honestly am influenced by what I see on TV and in movies, and in catalogues during the short walk from my mailbox on the first floor of my apartment building to my trash can on the fourth floor.

Is there any one person whose style I admire? No, not that I can think of. Maybe John Slattery. He is the coolest. But that’s more of an, “I wish I could dress like him,” than a thing I actually try to do. Oh and Jimmy Fallon. He has the best suits and his ties are nice too.

What’s your fashion philosophy? Do you prefer classic or trendy pieces, or a mixture of both?
I definitely do not think about fashion enough to have a philosophy. I like to be comfortable. I also like things that look sort of weird, I guess? Things with lots of buttons and zippers. But then I end up never wearing them.

Trendy vs. classic, I’m not sure. I don’t think I pay enough attention to wear trendy things, but occasionally I’ll see somebody wearing something and think it’s cool and want it. That’s how I found out about desert boots — I was at a stand-up show and the comedian was wearing them and I e-mailed him after basically saying “Yeah, yeah, good show, real funny, where’d you get those shoes?”

Also, usually when I get to something, my dad or someone older will say something like “Oh, we used to wear those when we were kids!” Mostly with shoes: Converse, which were my high school jam, and Clark’s, which are my thing now. And I’m like, “Sh*t, I thought I was being trendy for once!”

Do you have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to fashion?
Uh, wear your size. Guys should not be showing skin except maybe a tiny part of their neck with a collared shirt. ONE BUTTON UNBUTTONED. Oh, and always always always slim-leg/skinny-leg jeans and pants. No pant legs flapping around.

What are the rules that you follow to make sure that what you’re wearing is office appropriate, yet not stuffy or super corporate?
My rule at the office for a while now has been to dress as casual as possible without getting in trouble. So far, so good. Yes, that means the occasional/not-so-occasional polo in the summer. The last time I tucked in a shirt and didn’t have a meeting to go to was a long time ago. But in terms of rules I follow to be office appropriate, they can basically be summed up with “no shorts, and close-toed shoes.” A friend at work told me a few weeks ago that nobody can get away with dressing like I do for work but me. I don’t know if that’s true, but I still beamed with pride.

Name a fashion trend that you hate.
This isn’t a trend as much as it’s a Thing That Has Been Happening For A Long Time And Always Will: dressing up fancy in the summer, when it’s a hundred damn degrees out there. Can’t we just have a gentlemen’s agreement to just dress down when it’s hot? We all want it, but we all just decide that yeah, we’ll all be equally uncomfortable when we could all easily just be comfortable. If we all wore jeans and polos to meetings, nobody would think it was weird! And we’d all be so happy! But instead we are morons, sweating in suits and ties.

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Fashion & Beauty

Men’s Office Style: Volume Three

Today I thought it might be fun to feature a look on the more conservative end of the spectrum. Tyler’s style is pretty classic and well-tailored. Fit and quality are two of the few variables men have to play with when it comes to fashion. Like, they can literally only wear shirts, pants, jackets, shorts and blazers, so they should probably make sure they’re flattering. Women’s trends are more fluid and diverse, and it’s easier to supplement a wardrobe with statement pieces. But I digress; we all know girls get more cool stuff. Anyway, here are some style tips from Tyler.

Tyler

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Loafers: Ferragamo, Slacks: Ralph Lauren, Sweater: Ralph Lauren, Shirt: Ledbury, Belt: Trafalgar.


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How would you characterize your style?
I’d say somewhere between Atlantic Coast Southern Preppy and London/New York traditional–both heavily influenced by growing up in the South and living in NYC and working in London. That generally means I prefer a more tailored look for sure, from suits to jeans.

What are you influenced by when choosing clothes? Is there anyone whose style you admire and try to replicate?
Certainly by travel and life situations. I moved to New York at 18 for college and worked there afterwards for nearly half a decade before moving back to Virginia. I worked for a London-based firm as well, so their more tailored style certainly impacted my personal style.

What’s your fashion philosophy? Do you prefer classic or trendy pieces, or a mixture of both?
I believe in a mix– a growth over time, if you will. I’d never wear a tailored suit at age 18, but I would in my late 20s for example. There is a time and place for a lot of different styles. There are some trends that will stay around and become iconic, others that won’t. Its deciding which of those new styles fits your mood/personality and have staying power.

Do you have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to fashion? 
Never wear a black suit. I don’t own one– even my tux is midnight blue with black lapels. That is certainly the preppy/classic style preference acting up, but its one I’ve always lived by. Dark navy can do anything black can on a guy. I also don’t do shiny shoes (a little too intense for me). I also prefer loafers to lace-up shoes for day-to-day work.

What are the rules that you follow to make sure that what you’re wearing is office appropriate, yet not stuffy or super corporate?
Honestly, I don’t follow many rules.  I have worn flip-flops one day with jeans and a British tailored suit the next day, its one of the many beauties of our office. That being said, never a pair of shorts unless the AC is broken in the middle of August or you’re in on the weekend. Have to draw a line somewhere.

Name a fashion trend that you hate.
Really skinny jeans on guys that are out of shape. I don’t need to see all of that.

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Fashion & Beauty

Men’s Office Style: Volume Two

Finding styles that flatter your body-type is a tough but necessary task. It’s taken me years to understand that as much as I like certain things, like high-waisted pants, they’ll never look right on someone of my height and build. On the other hand, there are many looks that I can pull off because of my size. It’s taken me years to build up a repertoire of cuts and styles that I know work for me, and I admire Pupon for the fact that he’s done that so well for himself. Here’s another look that I loved this week.

Pupon

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Jacket: H&M, Shirt and Pants: Express, Shoes: Cole Haan “Lunargrand”

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How would you characterize your style?
Mix and match anything that fits. Being a graphic designer, I usually try to find balance between colors and shapes.

What are you influenced by when choosing clothes? Is there anyone whose style you admire and try to replicate?
I choose clothes mostly from brands that make slim, fitted cuts for a smaller stature.

What’s your fashion philosophy? Do you prefer classic or trendy pieces, or a mixture of both?
I like to mix it up. Fashion is art. Express yourself and rock it like you own it.

Do you have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to fashion?
No, not really. I think some people can be insecure about what they put together and it shows when they go out. Be secure and set the trend.

What are the rules that you follow to make sure that what you’re wearing is office appropriate, yet not stuffy or super corporate?
Keep it classy, but bend the rules when you feel like it.

Name a fashion trend that you hate.
Jorts. Enough said.

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Fashion & Beauty

Men’s Office Style: Volume One

The guys in my office dress all right. Ok, I’ll be honest, I’m usually kind of impressed by what they’re wearing, given the disdain I usually feel when I see men in DC trying to wear clothes. It’s like Halloween, if Halloween were an occasion for all dudes to dress like somebody’s dad.

I asked some of my friends at work to let me take pictures of their everyday attire, and they were kind enough to answer a few questions about their personal styles. This week, I’ll be posting a few of my favorite looks.

Kyle

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Jacket: Zara, Jeans: Levi’s, Shirt & Shoes: J. Crew, Tie: Dior, Glasses: Warby Parker

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How would you characterize your style?
Going to work, then going to a show.

What are you influenced by when choosing clothes? Is there anyone whose style you admire and try to replicate?
Living in New York, and before that London. You assimilate. You go from looking like a tourist to not looking like a tourist. You adopt things into your personal style.

What’s your fashion philosophy? Do you prefer classic or trendy pieces, or a mixture of both?
For work, I buy all newer stuff. I try to maintain a more contemporary wardrobe. I end up pitching things a lot, cycling things in and out of my closet. At work, it’s almost exclusively contemporary. I do buy vintage outerwear and tee shirts, always as accent pieces.

Do you have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to fashion?
No shorts, except for athletic activity and the beach. I just don’t think people want to see men’s legs. Style over comfort. I’m in the 5% of guys who don’t on some level embrace that they just want to be comfortable. I don’t really consider it a priority.

Our workplace is very business-casual. Most of you don’t wear suits every day, and you have a bit more freedom to wear what you want. What are the rules that you follow to make sure that what you’re wearing is office appropriate, yet not stuffy or super corporate?
Guys have less rules, but they’re stricter. You can’t just wear a single piece on top, for example. If you’re wearing a button down, you should have a sweater, a cardigan, or a jacket. You want to look a tiny bit more fancy without being stuffy. You can find ways to make things look professional just by adding more layers.

Name a fashion trend that you hate.
Man tank tops. Despite the fact that I had a pretty good run in New York, man tank tops were at the precipice of their popularity. As with shorts… no one wants to see that.

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Fashion & Beauty

Colorful Life

It’s been a while, I know. I’m sorry. I’ve had a trying month, but it’s nothing a little materialism hasn’t been able to fix. Sometimes I think I’m kidding, but I’m really not sure. Not going to try too hard to figure that out.

Anyway, luckily for all of us, there’s a trend that will now allow us to part with our money a little more easily. If you live in a city that’s been thoroughly infiltrated by fleets of food trucks (the best invention ever, maybe), you’re probably in luck.

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Clothing trucks have been quietly making the rounds for a bit, and I’m lucky enough to know a real live person who owns one. I reached out to my friend Gechi, who I’ve known since high school, after seeing that she’d started her own business here in the DC/VA area. I was, and still am, super impressed by her moxie, and I wanted to hear how she got started.

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I met up with her on a Saturday in Courthouse, where her truck was parked for the day. At first I was skeptical about the potential for a quality shopping experience in the back of a vehicle, but I kind of felt like I was stepping into a large walk-in closet.

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I pressed Gechi about the origins of her idea, because to me it seemed kind of mind-blowing. She’s always been super fashionable, so it’s no wonder she’d want to own her own store. She told me that she got the idea to buy a truck when she worked a charity event for her old employer, a consignment shop in Arlington called New to You. The store rented a truck for the event, and brought their merchandise straight to the venue. It was a huge success. After nearly three years working in retail, she quit to pursue the truck idea full-time.

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Within weeks she’d bought her own vehicle and hired a crew to gut the interior and put in wood floors and track lighting. As for the stuff, she chooses each item herself from brands she’s grown to like, contacting the manufacturers directly. These relationships can be tough to form, especially for a new, small business, but she says the most challenging logistical piece is acquiring the permits to park at street fairs, open-air markets, etc. Her schedule is constantly evolving based upon which events she can get permits for. She updates Facebook and Twitter to let her followers know where she’ll be and when, usually a few days beforehand.

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The stuff was great, and reasonably priced for a lunchtime splurge. I’m pretty easy to tempt, though, and I guess that’s the hook here– portable boutiques can theoretically show up wherever there are people with wallets who like clothes.

Unfortunately for us DC/VA residents, Gechi and Colorful Life will be moving on to Philadelphia to serve my alma mater(s). She and her mobile boutique will definitely be missed, and DC just got a little less fashionable (shocking!!!!). You can still find other trucks in the area, though, and she’s promised to fill us in on who to look out for. Stay tuned.

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