Skinny Corduroys

So, I have found the best fitting pants for fall/winter...GAP's Always Skinny Cords. No kidding this is the hands down the best fit I've had in a pant the past year. There is just something magic about these skinny cords. There's no stretch to them, they sit two fingers below your belly button, they don't shrink and then are long enough for someone that is 5' 8".

I bought my pair in tomato, and they make quite a statement. However, if you're looking for a classic black, navy or gray skinny pant, check these babies out!

Menswear Wednesday: What Fall?

So it’s technically fall, as of the 22nd.  But if you’re looking outside, you’d never know it.  It’s still warm, and whether you’re in Phoenix or Houston (I’m assuming a bit about the readership of this blog at the moment), the last thing you’re thinking about is breaking out that parka.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress like it is fall. Wool tie by Alexander Olch

Call me a traditionalist, but I’m into the idea of seasonal dressing.   Particularly when the spring rolls around and I’m able to bring out the lightweight fabrics and the white shoes again, it’s like the first day back at school, seeing old friends again.  Particularly when you live in a climate where the seasons are replaced with simply “cold days”, hot days, and hotter days, it’s a nice little reminder of the ebb and flow of the year.

The typical demarcation between the seasons are Easter and Labor Day; between those days, if it’s lightweight or brightly colored, it works.  The intervening season becomes more muted; earth tones and grays rule the day, and heavier fabrics like wool and flannel gain the upper hand.

And there we are again: verge-of-October or not, it’s still a bit too hot for tweed, and it likely will be until this time next month.   So what’s a guy to do? A trio of quick suggestions, after an overly long introduction:

  1. Cotton sweaters.  Up north, sweater season is already in full swing.  A fitted v-neck sweater in a lightweight pima cotton or cotton-cashmere blend (or even a linen-cotton blend leftover from the summer stock at places like J. Crew) is a perfect layering piece.  Put it on over a button up shirt with jeans, and you’ll look all snuggly without sweating like a pig.  Lightweight cardigans work here, too.
  2. Corduroy.  When you really get down to it, cord pants aren’t really any hotter to wear than dark denim.  So grab a pair of cords in a casual, jean-like five pocket style, and wear them in place of jeans to the office or a night out.  A good corduroy blazer is another good look that isn’t too heavy.
  3. Wool ties.  This one is almost a no-brainer.  It’s obviously not going to add weight to your outfit, but it is going to add some  fuzzy charm to your get-up.  Fortunately, most of the wool ties you’ll find these days are a little more slim, so they won’t look like you actually are wearing a sweater.

Do yourself a favor, and embrace the season, even if “football weather” means it dipped below 80 degrees.

Menswear Monday: Corduroy & the "Man" Cardigan

There are two key winter menswear trends that I saw this year: corduroy pants and, what I like to call, "The Man Cardigan."

Now, I think there are lot of guys that have embraced these trends, but then there are some of you that think you would either look too feminine, too fat or too much like Mr.Rogers in a cardigan. As for corduroy, I think most men simply forget about the comfortable alternative to jeans because the material is only worn in the winter.

Here are some tips and examples on how to pull off both...

Believe it or not, this is a cardigan. What's great about this piece is that it appears more masculine because of the double-breasted pockets, the high collar and the chunky knit. I think this is a perfect example of a cardigan that all body types can wear.

This piece is called a shawl cardigan because of the neckline. There is a more feminine aspect to the collar, but when paired with a plaid button down shirt and a pair of jeans it still looks masculine.

On to corduroy, what a great alternative to jeans?! You can still look professional and wear corduroy pants to the office or play it casual for the weekends. Corduroy is a fabric that can fade quickly, so just make sure to turn your pants inside out before washing. This fabric can shrink and get a bit stiff, so I would lay your pants flat to dry and throw them in the dryer to soften them up after they are no longer damp.

Some things to avoid when buying corduroy pleats, no faded fabric, no faded lines. Keep it clean, bold and simple. J.Crew and GAP are great places to find these pants.

Please Don't...Overalls and high-waist, pleated pants

denimI remember the days when overalls and mid-drift shirts were really popular. I remember wearing pink pleated, corduroy, high-waist, tapered pants (good-NESS)...I never thought these styles would come back again because no human being's figure is flattered by these styles. I thought the whole point of one's fashion is to compliment personality and body type, no? Even the super models of the world look horrible in these styles!