EASY SUMMER LOOK

A painfully simple way to style an outfit that’ll help you not sweat your face off.

So I’m one of those fellas that really doesn’t like wearing shorts. I have a few air that I will wear when the occasion calls for it, but by and large, I’d rather wear jeans/pants. This poses a unique challenge when those waves of summer heat are rolling through. Here’s my approach to keeping your vibe without sweating your face off.

summer_look.jpg

CUFF THOSE PANTS

Take the same pair of jeans you always love and give them a couple extra rolls. Let those ankles breathe! I know it might seem simple, but that little bit of airflow can make a world of difference.

DITCH THE SOCKS & POP ON SOME OXFORDS

Summer heat is best combated with as few and thin of layers as possible. So socks of any substance more than an ankle sock is asking for trapped heat against your skin! I prefer an oxford over tennis shoes simply because they instantly class up your look. 90% of guys out there will be in sneakers or sandals. This shoe alternative creates some distinction and instantly elevates your look. And fellas - ask nearly any lady and they’ll tell you that shoes actually do matter!

ROLL IT, AND UNBUTTON IT

No matter what kind of shirt — tee or buttons, give those sleeves a couple rolls! I’ve said this before in a separate post… but I’ll say it again. This creates a “finished” look with literally any shirt. If you’re in a button-down shirt, open it up a bit more… leave one or two of those babies unbuttoned. That extra airflow is a literal game changer, and it gives you a more effervescent and carefree look.

No matter the outfit… khakis or jeans… tee shirt or button down. No matter the environment… a local watering hole or a special event. This look transcends it all, and is a foolproof way to add simple and tasteful style to an otherwise ordinary outfit.

Cheers, dear ones. Let’s keep it cool this summer!

OVERCOMING FASHION FEAR

style journey.jpg

Being human means we’re a wild and wound up ball of emotion. That’s the best and the worst thing about being us. What I’ve found is — as we change and grow, the way we express ourselves does too. The things we choose to wear and the objects and environments we surround ourselves with can be a powerful outward expression of that inner journey. But one emotion can stunt and hijack both that inner journey, as well as how it’s outwardly expressed:

FEAR.

As a younger fella, I allowed fear to dictate much of my experience. (I think we all do in different capacities.) I wanted to be accepted and I wanted to fit into a tribe, so I expressed myself in ways that were a giving-in to the fears of otherwise being rejected. Don’t get me wrong… I always cared about style and all these bits of fashion nonsense… but I constantly battled this little inner voice that reminded me of my teenage years when I felt judged by my dad just for briefly changing my hairstyle from a good Christian side-part to that quintessential late-90’s middle-part. I could spend an hour unpacking what my journey has looked like in coming to terms with my fears, but instead I’ll focus on YOU, and on three factors to expect as you confront whatever your fear might be when it comes to fashion. Here it goes:

YOU’LL FAIL.
Experimenting with personal style means you’ll probably get it wrong many many times before you finally get it right. That’s how literally everything in life works… so it’s OKAY to fail and try again. One day many years ago my ex walked into the bedroom and she started laughing hard at me and making fun of me. Why? Because I was wearing black skinny jeans, double-monk wingtip oxfords (fancy dress shoes) , a tacky striped tank-top, a fedora, and a gaudy gold watch… nothing about it made sense. But here’s the thing: I was trying. And the 2019 version of me looks back and applauds old tacky old version of me, because it was part of the journey. Swing, miss, swing, get a base hit, swing, get a home run. Just keep stepping up to the plate!

YOU MAY BE JUDGED OR TEASED.
I remember standing inside the Goorin Bros shop in Portland Oregon… I saw their Dean The Butcher fedora, and I was drawn to it. I put it on, and loved it. I’m a also a slow adopter to new things… but I bought it anyway and started wearing it every day almost immediately. For literally months all I heard were jokes ranging from, “Hey there, Smokey the Bear” to “You need to give Pharrell his hat back!” The irony is, that brim has become a staple for me and it’s one of the best style purchases I’ve ever made. I was at a fashion event just two nights ago and someone from Goorin literally spied me out of the crowd and introduced themselves, saying, “I knew I recognized that Dean The Butcher!” Judgments be damned - just give it a try!

YOU’LL LEARN TO BE DISCRIMINATE
This is a good thing! Part of a journey of establishing a more specified style or sense of fashion means you’ll be exploring yourself more, and in so doing, deciding what you do and don’t like, what does and does not work for “you”, and establishing guidelines that will lead to easier buying decisions in the future, and you’l probably be surprised when you discover that this translates into other parts of your life as well. Developing taste for a certain thing means you will have a distaste for other things. That’s good because it helps you know what to say “no” to. The one word of caution is this: don’t get judgemental or arrogant. Stay humble and keep those newly choosey opinions to yourself! ;)

It’s all a journey. The key is to stay aware as we move through it. Cheers, dear ones.

STYLE OVER FASHION

D6DB5025-3366-4592-A041-492E48D8AFF9.JPG

Of any the topics that I'm asked about, none happens more frequently than about my style. It's rather ironic to me because, candidly, while I know I have a specific and curated aesthetic, I don't see it as revolutionary. But after some careful consideration, and a glass or two of whiskey, I have a few words that might provide clarity as we're all on our journey of expression through our steeze. (Is steeze still a word the kids are using? Did I even spell it correctly?! Oh well.) I'm a firm believer that having style is far more important than being fashionable. With that in mind, here are three considerations when identifying your style:

KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Knowing who we are and where we come from plays a big part in how we express ourselves, including what we wear. It's in our bones. We can't escape it. And sometimes rather than fight it, embracing it as part of ourselves is a key to finding the little diamonds of style that are hidden inside the cultures and places that we've come from. Example: where I'm from in Oregon, all the ranchers wear Justin Roper boots. Justin Ropers are the realest cowboy boot you'll find anywhere. Pointed toe and smooth leather bottoms are designed to slip in and out of the stirrup on a horse saddle easily. One day I found an old pair of them in a thrift store... the soles shredded from farm work, and the leather in need of some TLC. I decided those were the boot for me because they spoke to my roots. I bought them, gave them new life, and now Ropers are nearly all I wear and it's become a bit of an icon in terms of my identifiable style. 

TIMELESSNESS OVER TRENDS

The problem with the fashion industry is that it's an industry. That means it can't move forward without being industrious -- that is, without convincing you that what you have isn't as good as what they're about to show you. But frankly, that's a lie. I'm NOT saying that each season there aren't a few worthwhile considerations out there in your favorite designer's newest release... but your social mettle and inner being really aren't connected to new and shiny. Stop and ask yourself this question: will I look back at this photo in 30 years and think I look ridiculous or dated? If the answer is yes, perhaps re-evaluate the decision.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FIT

You can purchase the most expensive pieces from the most exclusive boutiques and if it doesn't fit right, you're still just gonna look janky. That's right -- JANKY. So whether that garment cost you $500 or $5, take it to someplace (if you live in Baltimore, I highly recommend Bushelers of Baltimore) and make it fit properly. Does it cost a few extra dollars? Of course. But it's money well spent. So skip a few latte purchsaes, get the right fit, and then the next time you go back for that latte maybe you'll get the attention of that person you always run in to in the coffee line.

Next time around we'll get into specifics of how to cultivate your wardrobe... but without these considerations, we wouldn't have a roadmap for doing so.

Cheers.