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.

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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!

WHY STYLE MATTERS

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THE REAL REASON YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE.

Spend five minutes with me talking lifestyle and man things and you’ll probably hear me gripe about fashion. And recently I had a conversation with a friend who said “but you clearly love fashion!”. I contested, as one does when they’re a rabble rouser. I contested the idea of loving fashion… but what I finally conceded to is caring about the way a human presents themselves. Which led me down a momentary rabbit hole and eventually to this conclusion:

STYLE = COMMUNICATION

Think about the first time you meet someone. Before a word ever leaves their mouth, you’ve already made a multitude of judgments about them. Judgments based on things like their posture, the kind of clothes they wear, any tattoos they may have, hair, accouterments… every little detail serves as a visual cue and clue on who they are as a person, and we make quick, subconscious decisions based on all those factors. If someone has sunken, poor posture, they can be mistaken as lacking confidence. If they wear a certain brand or label, we might assume something about the potential degree of affluence they enjoy (or debt they carry….)

So why do we do this? It’s not something we can even help or always control. We’re hard-wired to make these instant decisions and predictions. Because it tells us if the person we’re interacting with is “safe” to talk to, or if we better steer clear. It’s an extension of our most primal of instincts!

So this is the point: when you get ready each morning and look in the mirror, pause and ask yourself, “What am I communicating today?” And the next time you pull that new garment off a rack and head to the register, ask yourself the same thing: “What does this say about me?” You’ll be amazed at how this little question can serve as not only a barometer of whether that decision is a good one, but also how it begins to focus your wardrobe in a direction that makes sense for “you”.

We’re all gonna put on some clothes today. The question will be, what’s it going to say about you? Cheers, dear ones.

STYLE OVER FASHION

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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.