While I was in New York last month, I did some damage.
Single twenty-something guy who is caught up on most of his students loans and was looking to get some transitional pieces for my fall wardrobe. Plus, I had a really great month in sales. So, on Thursday night I decided I was going to pull some strings*, jet set to New York in the morning for the weekend. It was my first time to see the city for the first time. (First time? I know, right)
Let’s just say I walked away with a head-turning prize from Opening Ceremony (post to come soon) and an armful of goods worthy of asking, “Can you ship this?” back to Chicago from rag & bone.
Rag & Bone
was among the brands that caught my eye the most when it came to their inventory, that and the price was nice, considering it was their end of season sale. It also didn’t hurt me either considering all the malnourished gentlemen of New York City missed out on grabbing the leftover smalls, 36 chests and 28 waists. Because this guy did.
Two of my many finds were:
- A midnight (read as: navy) medium rise seersucker trousers.
- A white button down that looks like confetti frosting.
(You can’t really see the color speckled through the top in these photos, blame Seth.)
I feel classy, polished and fresh when I wear the navy and camel combo. Something about it pairing these colors together channels a very relaxed yet refined vibe that adds a pep in my step. A clear and fresh face along with catching the L train just before it departs doesn’t hurt either.
On Jeff: Feather suede jacket (thrifted $15) by Lanvin; confetti white button down (sale $70, reg $200) by rag & bone; navy seersucker trousers (sale $90, reg $300) by rag & bone; Lexington oxfords (sale $50) by Florsheim; leather clutch (yard sale $2) by Coach;
*My cousin is a flight attendant. Cheap flights. Bingo.
Whenever I make a purchase, I think about whether the item is an addition to my wardrobe as a basic (button downs, denim, tees and other layering pieces) or if it’s going to be a specialty piece.
What do I mean by that?
You can buy button down shirts, trousers and denim year round, generally in the same fit, fabric or wash. You can walk into a men’s store at any time and find those pieces. Great, those are your basics in your wardrobe. But each season a brand releases a new jacket or a familiar one but in a different wash or fabric.
Those are your speciality pieces. They are typically higher in price and are trend-driven or not something you’d find everyday. A jacket would be one of those pieces.
Let’s talk jackets. You can never have enough jackets. But seriously.
Most great outfits have three pieces to them. A top, a bottom and a jacket.
Why buy more jackets or blazers? Do my shirt and pants not do the job?
If you look at a majority of our shoots and daily outfits, you’ll likely find a third piece. And that third piece is typically a jacket. A jacket pulls an outfit together with the top or bottom. It cleans it up and finishes it off. Throw a blazer in the back of your car or carry a cardigan in your bag.
And that third piece is usually more expensive because it’s special and thats where the dollars start to add up. However, those dollars were not on this piece.
Nope. About four-Chipotle-burritos’ worth of dolla-dolla-bills-y’all were spent on this jacket.
“The Braydon” Jacket by Comune
It’s a nice, structured-but-soft, slim-fitting jacket with high-cut arm holes, which is tough to find when it comes to getting a jacket off the rack. I sized down and got a small, but the medium fit well also. Quite a deal for a great alternative to a blazer and a different take on a denim jacket, thus making it “special.”
STYLING TIP: Throw this jacket on with a pair of dark wash denim, tailored pair of khakis or do the monochromatic look. My style is generally pretty preppy, but this was too sharp and filed under “specialty” pieces that will instantly pull my look together.
It’s available at:
File this one under: a monochromatic look, too.
On Jeff: Coated black denim jacket (sale $32, Nordstrom) by COMUNE; handmade yellow striped bow tie ($20) by Annaruna; grey pin-stripe straight leg pant ($175) by Nonnie Threads; refurbished white leather topsiders ($30, Nordstorm Rack) by Sperry; cotton grey button-down by J.Crew.
Let’s talk color. But not color blocking or adding a “pop of color” as the kids like to call it; rather, monochromatic colors.
What is a monochromatic look?
An outfit built around one particular color story.
- Navy, dark grey, slate and midnight.
- Khaki, tan, ecru and nude.
- Black, heather grey, charcoal and steel.
For some, it’s fairly effortless to throw on one shade of a color since that what is what is in your entire closet. (Cough, Seth, cough.) All one color. For others, it will be a little more difficult knowing their colorful tendencies of wearing a ton.
But we say: Why not give it a go? Especially with a little on a print or pattern in the same color story.
I rarely have a very good reason to wear a tie. Honestly, events that necessitate ties in my life are few and far between. I mean, outside of the occasional wedding
formal, opportunities to appropriately don neckwear are fairly infrequent. That means that when I wear them, it’s typically for no reason at all. I’m not going to the office, I’m just going to class. If Mizzou
were a little more Ivy, that may be normal. But in a place where T-shirts and sweatpants reign supreme, I figure most people just assume I’m a professor.
Now, switching gears, the comment we tend to get most when it comes to buying from thrift stores or vintage resale shops goes something like this: “I just don’t have the patience to sift through all the inevitable crap to find what I’m actually looking for.” While thrifting often leaves you frustrated and empty handed, I think I’ve come to realize why I genuinely enjoy it to the degree that I do. The prices are obviously the biggest draw, yes, but there are secondary elements to the thrift store experience that make it something that is, while tedious at times, still very worth while. For me, I love that it harkens back to a time when United States manufacturing was still king, before outsourcing apparel construction became the new black. There’s something strangely satisfying about putting on a piece of clothing whose tag reads, “Made in the U.S.A.
” You guys know what I’m talking about, right?
Sorry for going YouTube crazy. Also, we’re a handful of followers short of four digits on Twitter
. Lets do this, team.
On Cameron: Blue oxford (thrifted, $2) made in the U.S.A. by Arrow Brigade, 15.5 neck; striped tie (gift from a lovely woman) by Kincora Irish Tweeds; brass tie bar (thrifted, $2); woven belt (thrifted, $4); chinos (UO, sale $10) by Dockers, size 31; desert boots (Christmas gift ’09) by Clarks, size 10; “Preston” eyeglasses (online, $95) by Warby Parker; rope bracelet (homemade).
It’s boots like these that will forever have me preaching the eBay gospel, ladies and gentlemen. Is it too early for boots? Perhaps
. But when I saw these bad boys on eBay while doing some pre-fall bargain hunting, I had to pull the proverbial trigger (get it?). After all, for the price of about four Chipotle burritos (and I’m talking steak burritos here, or barbacoa, depending on my mood) plus shipping, how could I go wrong? You’re right, I couldn’t. Now, I’m sure all of you calculus teachers out there have done the mental math, but for those that haven’t, the purchase came out to a little over $30, shipped. That’s, like, ¥2400 for all ya’ll in Japan!
Not bad for some vintage cap toe Cable and Co. work boots, handcrafted in Italy. They’re used, weathered, and scuffed, which only adds to their appeal. Those contrasting brown suede panels on the uppers are pretty out of the ordinary. Plus, those who are weary of workwear are shifting toward the Italian influence, right? BUT WAIT! You forgot about – *dun dun dun!* – Italian workwear.
On Cameron: thrifted s/s madras shirt (Wild Man Vintage, $7) by Royal Knight, size medium; grey chinos (J. Crew, $65) by J. Crew, size 31; “Preston” eyeglasses (online, $95) by Warby Parker; cap toe work boots (eBay, $30 shipped) by Cable and Company, size 10