Thursday, July 30, 2009

Persol sunglasses

Like a lot of the best things in fashion, Persols are made in Italy. The
name comes from Italian "Per Sol", meaning "For the Sun". Persols are the
best made sunglasses in the world. They have the style you'd expect from a
classic and the amenities you'd except from a luxury brand. Persols also
focus on making glasses, so they are as focused on the utilitarian function
of the glasses as much as the fashionable look. Throw into the mix that
they have been worn by some of the coolest men in the world and you can
understand why they are legendary.

Steve McQueen wore the infamous blue lens Persol 714 in the Thomas Crown
affair. James Bond (Roger Craig) wore two different pairs of Persols in
Casino Royale (pictured are the Persol 2720). Persols have also been donned
by other celebrities: Jack Nicholson, Richard Gere, Paul Newman, Roberto
Rossellini, Cindy Crawford, Nicolas Cage, Pierce Brosnan, Brad Pitt,
Angelina Jolie, Christian Slater, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Heath Ledger, Al
Pacino, George Clooney and Adrien Brody.

Persols are recognized by the classic metal hinge which looks stylish as
well as adds support to the folding arms. Each arm is designed with two to
four lines on it. These lines are utilitarian in nature making the arms
bend to prevent damage when you sit on them, or your child squeezes them.
Steve McQueen's Persol 714s even have hinges built in the bridge and the
arms, so they can be carried easily in a pocket.

Let us here at DF know if you have any other favorite glasses or sunglasses

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cuff Links

Cuff links are a great way to dress up a shirt, but they are also a way to show off your personal style and add flair to otherwise fairly normal and conservative outfit. These cuff links certainly add a little bit of rebellion and flair to wardrobe.

Up top are Ravi Ratan's James Bond Casino Royale cuffs

The Football cuff links are also Ravi Ratan. He makes an entire series of cuff links for each NFL and MLB team, chic way to show some team spirit. Especially in a stuffy office environment.

The Skull & Bones and the Multicolored checkerboard cuffs are both by David Donahue. I thinking adding details like Skull & Bones cuff links (done as exquisitely as these) can really show off your personality without offending anyone or sacrificing your dandy fashion sense. I think these are the cuff links are perfect for James Dean.

The last pair of cuff links are by Burberry. I think they would look impeccable with a Burberry scarf in the winter. The subtle connection between the two patterns is so understated it would almost seem accident, it would never come off as too perfect or too much of a match. The perfect combination, anything more than that with this pattern would seem too much like a Burberry catalogue ad, just not appropriate for real life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Old School Cool

Some more old school jean pictures. The men in these pictures wear their clothes well. There is a nonchalance to the clothes that they wear and how they wear them. Style & Fashion comes off as an after thought, yet they are all immersed in it. But the utilitarian aspect of their clothes is very clear. Also, as we have discussed before, the jeans are all slim and well tailored.

Steve McQueen in the top photo, no one has ever pulled off a white shirt and jeans better. But notice he doesn't go with the typical black boots, but instead comfortable understated shoes. I can imagine them being brown suede boots, similar to these suede McAllister boots at JCrew. It makes the outfit more natural and less try-hard. A white shirt and jeans can easily come off as try-hard, because it is such a simple outfit.

The two men below have great natural style. The Cable knit sweater over the polo shirt on the man on the left is naturally cool. A classic style that will never go out of fashion. The man on the right has a great jacket over a button-down shirt. Both have jeans tucked into calf height boots, due to the mud more than the style. That is how that look can be done best, when it is necessary to keep the jeans out of the mud or rain puddles. Otherwise, it looks to planned, but when it has a purpose it looks natural, necessary and very fashionable.

In the final photo, the man on the car has great style. He has the cuffed jeans and loafers, a great and classic look. This look is best modernized with either colored socks to match the shirt or no socks at all. Also, I prefer loafers with no tassles. He has a herringbone or tweed jacket which is great way to dress up the jeans. The collar on the jacket is popped, not out of style, but out of necessity, since he is waiting outside on his car hood for his date. Once again, the utilitarian need for the popped collar gives the fashion purpose and makes it look very natural. A popped collar for no reason looks out of place and planned.

Fashion is best when it looks natural, fits the surroundings, is purposeful, appropriate and shows no signs of long-term planning. Style comes from the un-planned, subtle details that make it look sprezzatura rather than forced. Focus on making the little touches look spontaneous, even if there is extensive planning behind them. Think old school cool and your style will come through in the details.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The proper way to dress up a pair of jeans

To continue on the theme of jeans, dressing up a pair of jeans is a critical element to being a dandy fashionier.

Think of your jeans as a pair of neutral slacks, they go with any outfit and color combination. The picture is courtesy of The Sartorialist ( I hope he doesn't mind). Notice the slim straight cut to the jeans, they add personality to the outfit. The jeans add a rebellious casual element to the classic tie, shirt and sport coat combination. Jeans are an easy way to add sprezzatura to an outfit.

We here at DF love his elegant use of no socks, sometimes the best accessory is the absence of one. This is another subtle element to add sprezzatura to his style. (It looks like he accidentally left the house without socks, but he meant to, and man he looks good.)

Also got to love the blue Ray Ban Wayfarers. Nice tie-in to the jeans and tie. Note that the blues don't match they are just in the same color family.

Jeans - How to wear them correctly, Vintage is the key

Jeans epitomize American style and have been uniquely American since the early 1900s. They are loved by the world over and have taken many transformations over the years. Most notably in the 1980s when jeans were made by top fashion designers, they became more universally worn. That launched the ability to dress up jeans as much as dress down the jeans.

Today, very man should be able to pair his jeans with a button down shirt shirt and tie as easily as he can with a tshirt. Jeans are a basic and common element to most men's wardrobes and this is a good thing. Jeans are too versatile to be forgotten about in your wardrobe. Women will agree a man in a pair of jeans and plain gray shirt can be unforgettable. Throw on a cashmere sweater and jeans and it can be worn almost anywhere with ease. The possibilities are endless.

It also seems that the varieties of jeans are endless as well. Jeans come in all shapes, sizes, washes and ornimentation. It can really get distracting and hard to find the best pair of jeans to buy. One rule of thumb I employ is to think vintage. The essence of jeans is simple easy to wear style. Looking at the pictures of jeans from the 1950s (the best time for jeans) you can see the jeans were simple, no gaudy oriments, jewels, studs or stiching. Leave all of that for women to wear, self-respecting men should leave the peacocked jeans for others.

The men wearing the jeans in the 50s are working class men, young rebels and style icons. They all wear jeans that are distressed to various different levels, some are very worn in, others are a much darker less worn in look. But none of the jeans have holes or rips. The jeans look worn, as any good pair should, but leave the holes to others. The rips and holes are tacky and make you look like you can't afford a good pair of jeans (I don't care how much you payed for your rips and holes, it looks dumb). Stick with the distressed and wiskered jeans. There are plenty made that do not have rips and holes. And if you must own holey jeans... NEVER ever try to dress them up, realize what they are.

The most important thing to notice is the jeans are slim but not tight. Techinally the jeans are a slim straight cut. The baggy jeans, the relaxed fit, the skin tight or skinny jeans are all left behind for a simple straight cut jean. Make sure you wear the jeans... not them wearing you. Stick with the well tailored jeans. I like the vintage slim cuts by Levi (Capital E) and J.Crew. The slimmy cut by 7 for All Mankind, Joe's Jeans "Brixton" cut, the slim straight by Levi (514) and the slim straight by Gap. These cuts will fit each person differently but they are a classic and more vintage look.

Washes on jeans can be done a few ways. The dark wash and black wash on jeans (with little to no distressing) is best to dress up and a must in every closet. The gray wash and distressed washes are best for casual settings with just a t-shirt or a nice button down work shirt. The lighter washes can be worn similarly but can be great as a summer jean. Another good summer jean is a cream colored jean (stay away from the white jeans). If you only have the budget for two pairs of jeans... stick with a dark wash jean and a slightly distressed medium wash.

Remember to think vintage. They knew how to wear their jeans.

For a history on jeans click here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Silk Knit Ties

I usually don't like style trends that are throw backs to the days of yore. Trends that are reminiscent of the days of disco, the summer of love or whatever the 80's are actually remembered for. But some reason I am drawn to silk knit ties.

Maybe they are in cooler colors and more modern designs. Maybe it is because the tie has needed some variable options for a while. Maybe it is because it is cool when you can turn something that ugly into something attractive. But whatever the reason, I am drawn to the silk knit tie.

The silk knit tie looks great with a business suit (on a more casual day) or with a dress shirt and jeans on a night out (leave it lose and the top button undone). It is a versatile tie, it very hip and cool and provides some unique elegance to your outfit. You'll stand out for being the only one in the room/bar with a knit tie, which is always a good thing when you are looking stylish.

The silk knit is also a perfect tie to keep you looking Sprezzatura. The knots always come out uneven and artfully disheveled, which is just the way you planned it. Keep them thinking you didn't plan to look this good, because after all who plans to have a tie knot so perfectly unperfect? Well you do, my dandy fashioner.

And if you don't believe me that silk knits are in... check out these designers for their versions of the tie that is gladly making a come back. The tie at the top of the blog is a Calvin Klein Multicolor Strip Knit Tie.

Ralph Lauren Pink Italian Silk Tie

J.Crew Competition stripe Italian Silk Knit tie

Tie Bars - Less expensive than you think

Round Tie Bar - J.Press - $89.99

Tie Bars are back and in a big way. They are stylish and practical and now less expensive than you think. Tie Bars help hold your tie back from your food as well as keep it on place while at work and helps you look like one dandy and dapper dressed man.

I recommend sticking with a plain looking tie bar as your first purchase. This will help it be more versatile and useful in your daily wardrobe. If you want something more fun, pick up a tie bar with a Bulldog, Anchor or Skull & Bones on it. There are even more options available, if you look around.

Check out the Tie Bars below and where you can get them for less than you think.

Triangle Tie Bar - - $34.99

Skull & Bones tie bar - J.Press - $49.99

Silver plain tie bar - - $29.99

Anchor Tie Bar - - $19.99

Sliver Bar clip - Kenneth Cole - $125

Bulldog tie bar - J.Press - $49.99

Black placked silver tie bar - - $54.99

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Essential Summer Fashion Must Haves - Gingham & Linen

I found this perfect pairing of gingham and linen. Great job on the outfit. I had to share it.

Essential Summer Fashion Must Haves - Summer Suit

Summer suits are completely under estimated... they are stately, sophisticated, gentlemanly and just downright cool (in the hip sort of way... not the heat way). When I put on a great summer suit I feel like a proper southern gentleman about to step out on to my porch for a mint julep before heading to a late afternoon wedding at the chapel. It makes me feel like the distinguished gentlemen of the 50's, but more updated.

Summer suits must not be your standard dark wool suit, too hot and too conservative. A good suit for July and August comes in three main fabrics and the variations on those fabrics: Chino, Silk, Linen and Cotton. Cotton suits come in a few different varieties but my favorite for many reasons is seersucker, another cotton option is cordlane (as we discussed earlier in this blog). Chino is technically a cotton too, but I see as different type of suit. For the purposes of this blog we will focus on my two favorites... Seersucker & Linen.

Seersucker is straight out of the south. It is old school, it can only be worn in the summer, it needs to have a modern cut. If the seersucker is not a slim fit... it will look like you are wearing your grandpa's suit (because he has one... I guarantee it). Seersuckers come in many different colors the most common and featured prominently on DF is the blue and white variety. They also come in red and white, brown/tan and white, pink and white and most other shades. (If you can find a cream and white seersucker, buy it immediately. They are amazingly gorgeous and hard to find.) I love the brown/tan and white (pictured below is the J.Crew version of this suit) as a starter seersucker, getting you used to the fabric and the suit. The blue and white is the prettiest with the right tie and pocket square (as demonstrated to perfection at the top of the page). Always wear a pocket square with your seersucker to help dress it up. It can be properly worn with a tie or without. If you are going with the blue and white seersucker and no tie stick with a pink or light blue shirt. One great advantage of seersucker is that it will not wrinkle and what an advantage it is!

The most elegant and classy versions of the summer suit is linen. Linen is often paired with cotton, wool or silk in a blended suit. I like the blended suit because of the beautiful look that comes from the mix of fabrics. Linen suits can be all colors but I would stick with the brown/tan, cream or navy. A grey linen suit can be beautiful as well, but I like it more for nighttime occassions. Remeber that linen wrinkles. This is how the suit is supposed to look, it is supposed to be rumpled and look like you actually wear it. That is part and parcile of the look. For a perfect example of a rumpled linen jacket check out A Suitable Wardrobe.

The rest of the suits featured (that are not seersucker) are linen suits. The first picture below is stolen (hope you don't mind) from the Satorialist. It is the epitomy of the perfect summer suit worn perfectly with the perfect fit. Kudos!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Essential Summer Fashion Must Haves - Gingham

If you don't have a gingham shirt, go get one right now. It's okay, I'll wait...

Gingham is great. It is classic, it is fashionable and it is the ultimate summer look. (just don't wear a red gingham shirt or else you will look like a picnic table). My favorites are the blues, the purples and the pinks. J.Crew has a great selection of gingham including a cream and white pattern in a wide square that is fantastic. Did you get one yet? I'll wait...

Wear it with a pair of chinos or jeans for a nice date look. Or go with the lilac gingham and a dark blue tie for work. Ralph Lauren even has some nice small check aqua blue gingham, the exact color we discussed earlier in the Essentials of Summer section.

Did you get your gingham yet? What are you waiting for?

Essential Summer Fashion Must Haves - Web Belt

Another Essential Summer fashion accessory to add to the wardrobe this year is the web belt. It is a great way to add a little personal style to your wardrobe, not to mention a splash of color. The top picture is a collection of belts from Robert Talbott. I really dig the blue and white belt above from J.Crew. I bought mine on sale for under $10. The two belts below are also great options, the top one is from Ralph Lauren. The bottom one is a plaid option from Macy's.

The web belt comes in a wide variety of colors and options. Bright colors are my favorite, but a more muted gray and black option can look fantastic with the right outfit. Also, solid web belts are available, but I would steer clear of them as they look quite ordinary. Please make sure to only buy a web belt with a D ring on it. No solid silver clasps, the belt will look like a thugs accessory for the early 90's, not a very dandy look.

The best advice I can give you with the web belt is the play with colors and avoid matching too much. A dark blue belt looks good with a light blue button down. Find a orange and green belt and match it with khaki shorts and solid neutral colored button down (white or gray look best). Wear a pink polo and a madras web belt and neutral shorts.

This a very versatile and fun addition to any wardrobe. Just don't wear it to work.