The Pro-Files: Frank Muytjens of J.Crew

Jeff, with Frank Muytjens (head of men’s design for J.Crew.)

Clothing is a narrative. A collection of well-placed hints about who you are, where you come from, where you’re going. And you? You’re someone with places to be. People should be able to know you when you get there.
At least that’s how Frank Muytjens sees it. Frank is the head of men’s design at J.Crew, where he went after working with Polo. Yet, the Amsterdam native is surprisingly down to earth for being an increasingly recognizable international gentleman in the industry. One of the kindest and most thoughtful heavy-hitters you’ll meet.

Muytjens and la presidente, Jenna Lyons, were in the Second City recently to promote both a new men’s shop and their fall line. It’s a tall order to fly into Chicago to spend less than half a day on Michigan Avenue for a meet-and-greet the many admirers of your work, but no: Frank is as good a listener as he is a thinker.
And it’s that kind of careful thought that has allowed the company to reinvent itself into a game-changer. See, the thing about J.Crew is, not so long ago you wouldn’t have put it and “classic” next to each other in a sentence. But with Frank and Jenna at the tiller, that’s exactly where the company has risen: to a look that’s The Great Escape, not Dawson’s Creek.

We caught up with Muytjens in the 900 Shops a couple of weeks ago before he and Lyons had to jet back to New York City where, if their current record is any indicator, they’ll keep shaking things up.
Midwestyle: You’ve said before that story is a big motivator for you. How does it influence your creative process? (“It’s important that the brands we surround ourselves with tell a story,” Muytjens told Esquire last fall.)

Frank Muytjens: Well, you start with an idea.
You craft a story.

You pick a fabric. It’s a very organic process. It’s the creative struggle. It’s always like a fight, but in the best way possible.

MWS: And it’s that creative struggle that keeps your attention and enthusiasm.
FM: We’re such a well-oiled machine compared to a couple of years ago. We know what fabrics work for us. We still get excited about touching fabrics. It’s important to be childlike—to be excited about coming to work every day.
MWS: What about your move toward classic Americana? What are the stories and influences behind that?

FM: It’s really all about history. I’m fascinated by what I see in the old movies. Tuxedos from the ’30s. Army and Navy uniforms. Workers. The Gold Rush. Those things find their way into our design.
Oh, and here’s a quick tip from Frank:

FM: Try denim under a sport coat. It’s two basic items, but maybe you didn’t think about them together. It’s that combination of rugged and formal, vintage and clean. If you mix and match, you get a more modern look, by pairing unexpected things together.
To Frank, Jenna and the rest of the Crew: Thanks for stopping by and incorporating the Midwest into your orbit. Hope to see you here again soon.
Case in point: There goes Cam, being all unexpected again.

J.Crew photos and text by Seth Putnam. Photo editing by Carolina Rodriguez. Triptych by Bethany Jones.

Madeline Giangrosso - great interview!

chicityfashion.com - Love the photo of Jeff and Frank…what a great experience you guys had! Great post :)

Ambyr - Dying over your bow tie!

xoxo
http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

BOW TIE GIVEAWAY from AnnaRuna

We’ve been rocking bow ties lately to add some personality and character to our looks. (Hell, we’ve been doing that with accessories, bags, tie bars and other quirky pieces, too.) Something subtle or something with a statement—that’s the key to finishing off an outfit. A bow tie is one such touch. Our Midwestern lady friend understands this and wants to help fellow gents (or ladies).

Shirting by Apolis Activism, cardigan by J.Crew and madras bow tie by AnnaRuna.

Her name is Anna, and she’s going to be a senior at Mizzou this coming fall. She and Cam and I grew up cannon-balling at the Willow Farms swimming pool, eating copious amounts of salsa deckside at the Hastings house and shooting off fireworks in the suburbs in front of the Flemings curbside detonation zone each Fourth of July. She’s talented, sweet, tall/Icelandic and Midwestern. (Did we mention beautiful? If not, beautiful.) She makes bow ties and neck ties. She’s not an East Campus dweller (yet) but she’s a frequent dance party fiend at the 516 boys’ house.

So here’s the situation: We want to give you one of Anna’s bow ties from her Etsy shop: AnnaRuna. Here’s how you can snag something fancy for your neck…

Simply:
  1. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr if haven’t already. Don’t forget to tell us which one(s) you chose.
  2. Tell us who in your life needs a bow tie and why. If it’s you, that’s cool. If it’s your brother, great. If you’re a lady and want to rock some camo steeze with your chambray button down and floral skirt, that’s cool too, Cary.
We’ll pick randomly, (but really whichever one is the wittiest and makes us laugh the most). The giveaway will close on FRIDAY at 5 p.m. We’ll announce the winner on Saturday via Twitter and a small blog post. Sounds simple, I know.
Pick one, any one. We’ll send it to you.

-T - Followed you on Tumblr.

I would like a bowtie because I am actually Porky Pig. I have been wearing the same red bowtie since 1935 and I believe it’s time for a new one. I saw these while checking my blogs and they look dope. Would be awesome if you could hook a pigga up.

Tha-tha-tha-tha-tha-tha-tha-tha-tha much obliged.

oddsandends - I have followed on Tumblr.

Here’s a brief story: My girlfriend lives in Pittsburgh PA, and I live in Springfield MO. She will finally, after nearly nine months of dating, be moving in with me down here next month. She is an art historian/museum curator, and I am a musician.

9 June is her birthday, and I am going to be flying up to surprise her. She has no idea that I will be coming up, but I can’t let her spend her birthday alone; I’m just not that kind of guy.

I used to have a bow tie. It was my Grandpa’s, and it was plaid, and when I was a kid I used to put it around my neck and tie it like one would tie shoelaces. I would strut around their house, and they would laugh and laugh. Grandpa loved that bow tie, and he gave it to me on my eighteenth birthday.

That bow tie is now in a suitcase, along with a lot of other clothes I really loved wearing. That suitcase was lost last year by an airline (I will not say the name, but it was Delta). I haven’t had a bow tie since.

So. I miss owning a nice bow tie, and wearing one when I go up to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday would really complete the outfit I have planned.

Zach and Sara Allen - I Follow on twitter.
My hubby’s birthday is in June and this would be the best summery-manly-styling thing next to loafers with no-show socks! I would just love to win one for the man of my dreams!

http://twitter.com/#!/Saryboberry

Colin - Also…the sublime sunshine bow tie is my pick.

Colin - Listen, I don’t have the Twitters or Tumblr, but I like themidwestyle so much on Facebook. I’ve been following the blog since its inception…I love Leo. Peep these nasty rhymes!

I like my bow ties like I like my rap music, “freestyle.”
If you don’t believe me, just check my fbook profile
That’s why I’m digging Anna’s ties so much
She be sewing them so you gotsta tie them and such

I just moved to the hood and I know for a fact
With a bow tie on, I won’t have to watch my back
People see a man with a bow tie and they know he got class
But subconsciously they also know he can whoop that…posterior

Shoot, they was started by Croatian Mercenaries
Just ask the Prussians, man, them dudes was scary
Teddy Roosevelt rocked one charging up San Juan Hill
As well as the Nazis’ nightmare, Winston Churchill

I need this bow tie not just to look fly
But to let gang members know I’m a super tough guy
A man with a dope bow should never be crossed
‘Cause if you tangle with him, you gon’ get tossed

I don’t care which it is, but I need a fresh tie
If I don’t win, I’ll blame you if I die.
You might be thinkin’, “Man, you trippin’, what the heck?”
But I’m serious dude, a bow tie will save my neck.

Colin Warren
Newest Resident of the Roughest Part of KCK

Colin - This comment has been removed by the author.

Patrick D - followed you guys on the tumblrs, but have been reading your blog for quite some time now.

my girlfriend would love to rock that chambray b-tie and would look crispier than a bowl full o’ steeze-its doing so. fit pics will prove it.

harrycovert - I have followed you on Tumblr.

My favorite of these fine ties is the Brown Blazer Blue Stripe. I can be a little bit of a sucker for anything tweedy.

I am, in fact, the person in my life that needs a bow tie. I have heretofore been bow tie-less and feel my life is lacking a certain, je ne sais quoi. I believe that acquiring my first bow tie will have me well on my way to grabbing all that life w/ that classy swagger has to offer.

Steven W4922 - Crocodile on my feet
Fox fur on my back
But no Bowtie `round my neck
I wanna be called the gangsta mack
In the Cadillac!! Yeah!!

Like you on De Eff’-Book.

Candy Stripe Crimson

mah5160 - I followed you on Twitter and Tumblr, and seeing as how I’m a newly transplanted Chicagoan without many friends in the city, I might even have followed Seth and Jeff home on occasion. (Like the view from the back, bbs!)

Gentlemen,

Your bow tie giveaway could not have come at a more opportune time, as I am in dire need of some established formalwear worthy of royalty. You may be thinking, “What? Prince Harry, upon feeling pressure from the American media to continue perpetuating our Anglophilic tendencies has decided to ditch his tacky on again, off again British girlfriend for a ~totally classy and sophisticated young lady from the States who needs our chambray bowtie* to sit atop her wedding gown as the ‘something blue’ in The Royal Wedding: Part Deux?” No, unfortunately not (though I see where you’re coming from with that one, and I love your vision). My needs for a bow tie extend far beyond that.

You see, I was recently contacted via E-mail by the son of an African prince, Diego Alejandro Vargas Borray (who, upon further inspection, might want to consider getting his paternity checked. The name has a decidedly Latin flair). His Highness has generously agreed to award me money in sums totaling upwards of (direct quote) “Nine Hundred Fifty Thousand Pounds in Benz uk Bonazza” in exchange for my name, address, country, telephone number, and bank information by the end of next week. I was flattered, naturally, that he chose to bestow this gracious gift upon me, as we hardly know each other. Then it occurred to me: he must be an adoring fan of my blog! I knew, at roughly 50 hits a day (not bragging!) that I was popular, but I had no idea that an opportunity like this would come to me. Yesterday I was just a small town girl, faithfully chronicling her passion for nail polish and Beyonce, but today I’m shattering the glass ceilings of upper-middle-class-dom and finally achieving my dreams of having my own chocolate sugar daddy!

What great taste this man must have adoring me. If he adores me, he’ll know I adore you, and I’m sure he’ll think it’s incredibly charming if I show up to meet him in my Midwestyle best. After all, how else is a girl s’posed to muster the courage to summon a prince lest she be properly outfitted? As Annie (Anna?) & I always say, you’re never fully dressed without a smile bowtie.

Thanks in advance for your understanding,

Meghan.

*Disclaimer: I’d actually really like the Candy Stripe Crimson bowtie, but for the sake of the pitch…you understand.

Jeremy Floyd - Liked you of Facebook. As a young archivist, my style is influenced by materials both contemporary and antiquated. A bow tie is both, a classic way of showing subtle individuality.

Malia - I followed you on tumblr as dia-dhuit.

And I need a new bow tie because I’m currently suffering a bow tie deficiency, caused by repeated sightings of the Eleventh Doctor. The symptoms are lack of dapper, fainting at the sight of fabulous bow ties, and hemorrhoids. It’s such a terrible ailment to possess, and I would so grateful if you’d help alleviate my pain.

The Cherry Chambray, the Sublime Sunshine, and the Tawny bow ties are the ones making me faint the most (and the Regatta on her etsy is amazing too).

juliamkelly - I come from the past before the invention of bow ties, and if you send me one of these, all bow ties would be born from this one! The TIdy Tartan could be the father of all bow ties!
I have managed to become friends of yours in the internet space you call social networks, both Tumblr and Facebook.
Much obliged, my dapper friends.

Ambyr - These are such cute bow ties! I’m a stylist and I make all of the men I dress work their way into being bow-tie-friendly! I think every man should have the confidence to wear a bow tie and feel amazing in it. Most of them, are loving it.
I’d love to have one of these for myself. They joke at me that I get them all to sport a bow tie but that I don’t wear them myself. I make a joke that I’m a girl, but I’d totally rock one. I just haven’t found the perfect one yet! But I love the Brown Blazer Blue Stripe Bow Tie, Cheery Chambray Bow Tie and the Speckled Silk Bow Tie.
xoxo
http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

Andre Erdna - * I followed you on Tumblr and Twitter.
Dear Staff at Midwest Style,
A friend of my introduced me to your website and I could’ve promised I went to heaven! Maybe that old man was right about the rapture!? Well anyway, I believe I am the most deserving to win this contest *epic statue-esque pose*. I am the most deserving because I am a poet. When I write my best and award winning works, a bowtie adorns my neck. Almost like a good-luck charm. As you can tell by my Tumblr http://originalsoutherngentleman.tumblr.com/ I love bowties (and Beyonce but that’s not the point!) Having one of Anna’s bowties as my own would be fantastic! I hope you choose me! Thanks again! My twitter is: twitter.com/AlabamaGrammar
*P.S.- I would LOVE the Candy Stripe Crimson! Talk about gorgeous!

Andre Erdna - This comment has been removed by the author.

Drew Jones Art - I’m a follower on facebook and I check your blog daily.

I’m a midwesterner from Ohio–born and raised. I’ve always been into fashion and standing out among the crowd. I’ve also had a special place in my heart for bowties.

In fact, I used to wear one of my dad’s plaid bowties (from the 70′s) whenever I had to dress up for any occasion when I was a kid. I’m a brand new dad myself and my son, Westley James, will need a bowtie to borrow when he discovers how stylish they are.

Help me keep the tradition going!

Thanks.

David Dawson - I follow you guys on twitter…though I’ve been following you here a lot longer.

As a grad student whose classes (and future career) require a lot of presentations, it would be great to have a smart bowtie that makes me look more intelligent than my words would indicate.

Help me fool the academic world by looking good!

GenuineMag - i follow you guys on twitter,

the tie would be for myself. Im a Designer and always look to differentiate myself from those who are handed a high class life. My days are spent working 7 days a week, and slowly building up my own design/fashion empire

Love the site, frequent it everyday, love to see style on a budget.

elliottd.steven@gmail.com

jessie - i follow you guys all over the GD place… and love every minute of it. :)

as a fellow midwestern style blogger, i’d love to help promote annaruna as well, and what a better way than to give the bowtie to my hottie of a husband (who probably rock it with his irish setter redwings, j. crew 484′s, a red chambray shirt + sportcoat), take some sweet photos of him and feature them on TCC! bam.

Anna O'Connor - I am following you on facebook!

I would like to get a bow tie for my boyfriend. During the course of our nearly year and a half relationship I have taken him from a slovenly, baggy t-shirt and baggy jeans kind of guy and managed to get him to dress better and find his own sense of style. He has talked about getting a bow tie for awhile, but the only ones I’ve seen have been really stuffy and/or overly preppy (Vineyard Vines, anyone?). These AnnaRuna bow ties are uber-cool and just what we’ve/he’s been looking for! It is the perfect accessory to finish off my man’s transformation!

dpoe - I’ve followed you on Tumblr.

I need a bow tie because I’m living in South Africa and I’m a poor missionary. My wife and I have a photo shoot (for free) when we get back to the States for the month of June and it’d be great to wear one of these great ties in the pictures. Great stuff guys!

Wienas - I spend all week in a uniform picking up trash in Indianapolis. The last thing I want is for the weekend to come and still look like I pick up trash. HELP! (I follow on Twitter)

The Preppy Plaid looks very nice.

zgray - Imma let you finish, but the Cheery Chambray is one of the best bow ties of all time.

Shawn - This giveaway couldn’t have come at a better time! My parents said they would let me out of my cage if I got myself a bow tie. Please help me! I think the preppy plaid bow tie would look pretty snazzy on me.

Bow Tie = Freedom

Nicole - My Husband needs a bow tie because he would rock it proudly (despite us living in guido NJ). Specifically, he would rock the preppy plaid bow tie… and perhaps I would borrow it as well ;)

~Nicole
employed.panache@gmail.com

May - I’m a Tumblr follower and I know how to tie bow ties. I don’t have a male counterpart at the moment, so I might as well put the skill to use and tie it on myself. Bow ties are cool. Handmade is even cooler.

Bo - I follow you guys on Twitter and Tumblr, and one of these bow ties would really swag out my Peewee Herman look (just need some suspenders).

Keep the great stuff coming fellow (past or present) Columbians

bologna12 - Hello I liked you on Facebook and follow you on Tumblr.

I would like to have one of these bow-ties because I think bow-ties are really cool. I already have several and am the only person I know that can actually tie one. I would really like to expand my collection.

Peter - Hello. I’m following on Tumblr.

The person in my life who needs a bow tie most is myself. Selfish, I know. But no one else I know would ever consider one (until they see mine!).

I have three reasons for needing a bow tie:

1: My wife thinks I’m nuts for wanting one (as well as my new found appreciation for style) and think’s I’d look absurd. My goal is to prove her right. It WOULD be absurd to wear a bow tie in ND where all anyone wears are ill-fitting shirts that came boxed with a tie.

2: I’m looking to start a trend. I got all my friends started on pipe smoking a couple years back, and what could be a better follow up than bow ties?

3: I don’t have the money to buy a new one, and have yet to find one at any of the local thrift stores.

Cheers from a fellow midwesterner.

Brad - Following you on Twitter!!!

I am hooked on the latest Doctor Who. When I grow up, I would like to be a time lord. Help a young gent look the part with the appropriate bow tie. Pick me!

Nathan - I’m following on Twitter.

As a young teacher in Michigan I have the great responsibility to spread the word that, “Bow ties are cool.” For the future will be lost without bow ties. Millennials must know that ties come in more than one long pointed shape. For the betterment of mankind I should be awarded this great reward.

And remember it’s about the kids.

Alexandra Wood - I’ve followed on tumblr (I am top-queer.tumblr.com).

Just because I’m a lady doesn’t mean I can’t be a gentleman. I bought a new waistcoat and the brown blazer bow tie would match it perfectly. Winning the bow tie would help me make my transformation into one dapper young dandy.

I’m a pro at tying bow ties (I also can tie a buckaroo knot, which is not quite relevant but still pretty cool), so you could rest assured that your bow tie would receive many a compliment and your etsy would be given many a recommendation if I were out and about engaged in my usual debauchery while wearing your bow tie.

Schorsch - I followed you on twitter under SMcSchorsch, and I follow you on tumblr under blacktiecasual.

The bow tie would be for me. It’s purpose, I’m ashamed to say, would be therapeutic. I suffer from severe bow tie-related anxiety. I desperately want to tie one on, but every time I go to buy one, I lose my nerve. So I collect pictures of braver souls with sharper neckwear than mine, too timid to join them in the real world. If one of these beautiful ties showed up in my mailbox, it would be the kick in the collar I need to get out there, bow-tied and beautiful.

Jackson - Hi, I follow you on tumblr under sweatervestman.tumblr.com

I need a bowtie for many reasons, first I’m graduating high school and I want to update my wardrobe for college. Throughout high school I was known for wearing sweatervest, several times a week and I think a bowtie would help me explore more styles.

Thanks for the great oppertunity.

Ps. I really hope you guys can help me look boss in college next year.

Dashiel Hermann - I’ve given you the trifecta of social media love. Facebook, Twitter AND Trumblr.

I personally need a bow tie because I’m a one armed masochist, plain and simple. Of course I’ve also been described as a lying dandy.

I find the bow tie entitled Royal Emerald Plaid quite fetching.

Adieu.

West Jeff Lawyer - I “like” you on Facebook!

I need one of these fine bowties. As a southern transplant to rural Ohio I try to find the balance between my buckeye home and my southern roots. The bowtie would cap off my seersucker suit on those hot and humid summer days.

As an added bonus, the Judge I practice in front of has taken to calling me “professor,” so the bowtie would help to cultivate that nickname.

CoCoon - I’d love to win this giveaway because, for once, it would be nice if my boyfriend wanted to steal something from MY wardrobe. You see, I pinch everything from the poor guy… his aviators, wool scarves {knit especially for him by his grandma-I know I’m terrible}, t-shirts… you name it. I’d love to see him sneak one of these stylish bowties from me!

Cheers

Following your tweets!

Think Twice Style - I follow you guys on Twitter and I Like your fb page.
I wish I could say that my brother is the one who needs a bowtie, but he prefers Under Armour and baseball pants. I like to wear bowties to keep things fancy and channel the waiters in Hello, Dolly. Besides, I live in the South, and since Southern gentlemen have phased out the bowtie, it’s up to us girls to bring it back.

Plus, how many teachers do you know wear bowties and bolos to school?

My favorite one is the Sublime Sunshine!

Michael - I have followed on Tumblr and Twitter!
The reason I need a bowtie is that the bowtie would allow me to take one more step towards being a Southern Gentleman. And as a future Southern Gentleman, I would proudly show that I am willing to accept the Midwest and wear one of their fine bowties. This would further heal the wounds of the War Between the States.
So, you should choose me if you love America and inter-state love. :)

Thrifty Thursday: Camel suede chukka boots

If you’re from Missouri, you’re aware that there’s this quasi-rivalry between St. Louis and Kansas City. It’s natural, after all, seeing as they’re the two biggest cities in the state and they’re both furnished with competing major league sports teams. When you go to Mizzou, though, you’re kind of forced become frenemies friends with residents of the other city. While it’s unfortunate, it is necessary.
At any rate, some of my own St. Louis friends tricked me into actually going there under the guise of watching them run half of the St. Louis Marathon. I eventually took the bait, and in an attempt to make me think more of their hometown, they took me to The Loop. It was here that they fed me the delicacies of Pam’s Chicago-Style Dogs, walked me past one of the Midwest’s best music venues, The Pageant, and finally took me to some of the city’s finest boutiques and vintage resale shops. It was inside of one of these shops—Avalon Exchange, to be exact—that I stumbled upon these mid top boat shoes for $15, in almost new condition.
$15? Sold. Plus, nothing quite says spring/summer like a light-weight, light-colored pair of shoes. Canvas sneakers, white suede bucks, or in this case, tan mid top deck shoes.
St. Louis, you’re alright in my book.
(Seth’s note: The “Loop”? Chicago-style dogs? Sounds like St. Louis is just a Chi-wannabe. The thing is, I bet they like ketchup on their hot dogs, and that right there says it all.)
Also, while the Corter ‘For Japan’ bracelet is no longer available for purchase, you can definitely still support the one-man, Boston based leather goods operation. The single wrap leather bracelet is a favorite. Also, where else can you find a handmade in the USA, natural leather utility belt for under $50? Nowhere. Definitely check it out here.
Camel suede chukka boots (thrifted from Avalon Exchange, $15) by Anchor, size 10; red and blue plaid button-front (thrifted, $3) by L.L. Bean, medium; “The 77″ straight leg dry selvedge denim (Standard Style, $198) by Baldwin Denim, size 31; natural leather “Corter for Japan” bracelet (retail, $20) by Corter.

Photography by Jarred Donalson.

Emilio.M - That shade of brown really looks nice with any pants, I really like it a lot.
naot shoes retailers

Yale Hollander - I was born in St. Louis (where I once again live) but I grew up in Jefferson City and then attended college at Mizzou, so I’m well versed on the whole St. Louis – K.C. thing. Perhaps it was the circle in which I traveled, but my peers and I chose to focus on the best each burgh had to offer and to discount the rest. Rivaly, schmivarly . . . . except of course for the Royals’ disputed 1985 World Series title.

On the matter of Fathers’ Day. I urge you to read this mighty piece penned by one of my favorite imaginary Internet pals (i.e. Facebook “friends”) Tom Junod. The piece is 15 years old but holds perfect currency.

http://www.gq.com/style/grooming/200706/fashion-generation-tips-national-magazine-award

Something tells me you’ve probably seen this once or twice before, but if not, it’s a must-read.

Ambyr - Good color combo with the deep plaid, dark denim and light boots!

xoxo
http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

Seth J. Putnam - Thanks, Jen. I’ve started a draft on Father’s Day, so rest assured we’ll do something on it. P.S. your family is unbelievably dapper. Good looking gang!

Mallory, you would. Consider this wisdom: “Those…[Chicago] Dog connoisseurs are often vehemently opposed to eating (or even witnessing) Hot Dogs w/ ketchup.”

Gospel truth.

mallory wiegers - seth, i love ketchup on my hot dogs. also, a father’s day gift post would be excellent. joel is tricky man but does love to look dapper.

Jen - oh the kc/stl rivalry…i married a kansas city-ite and it’s the bane of our relationship…at least he’s a cardinals/chiefs fan, i don’t know if i could live with a royals fan.

LOVE following you guys…

(PS: post suggestion: Father’s Day gifts…I need to find a good watch and you have better taste than me!)

STREET midweSTYLE: Drew on Oak Street

What’s cool these days?
Zubaz, right?
So is street style photography, I guess.
Wait, I thought you only photographed yourselves, you narcissists?
We didn’t get tired of photographing ourselves (or Cameron at least). We just wanted to mix things up. Other guys around town are keeping it fresh and doing their own style, so we’d like to shrine some light on those dudes: friends, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, roommates, drinking buddies, acquaintances and whoever else might be strolling down the road. Don’t worry, we’re not going to become “one of those street-style blogs” all of a sudden; we just thought we’d spice things up to keep it interesting.
Meet Drew. He’s a sound sculptor and jack of all trades. I’ve run into this guy a handful of times since moving to Chicago and he’s a rad guy to know. Good looks and great style.

Badass? Check.
Functional? Check.
Obnoxious color? Check.
Killer watch by Uniform Wares from Need Supply.

Why we like this look? Monochromatic palette with touches of color and print. We like that.

Polka dot short-sleeve shirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs; “100 series” yellow watch (from Need Supply) by Uniform Wares; grey suede desert boots by Common Projects; “Detroit” straight-leg grey pant by All Saints.

Photos by Jeff Kieslich.

Ambyr - These suede chukka boots are amazing. Love his rolled pant look with them!

xoxo
http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

Things Organized Neatly: The Bruiser

“You can’t do that.”
“Do what?”
“Wear black and navy.”

“Says who?”
“You just can’t.”

Gentlemen, who gave us this no-black-and-navy rule?
Hell, who said you can’t wear brown and black together? I’m sure they had every good intention of steering you away from being gawked at or accused of being color-blind (because hey, I know a few guys who are color blind.) But let’s step back and reassess of our views on mixing black and navy.

For us Midwestern boys, we were told not to wear black and navy together because…

  • It’s too dark.
  • It doesn’t match.
  • It doesn’t look “good.”


Disagree. You can do it, and you can do it well.

  • It’s too dark: Try breaking up the navy and black with some white, grey or another neutral—even olive or khaki. (Yes, those are considered neutrals.)
  • It doesn’t match: That’s the point. You don’t have to match your belt to your shoes to your watch strap color. Although you can, you don’t have to. You’ve heard the expression “matchy-matchy?” Yeah, let’s avoid that in this scenario and roll with the bruised-looking palette, that’s often how I look walking out the door. (A little black and blue, with a dash of purple or mustard.)
  • It doesn’t look “good.” Well, that’s in the eye of the beholder. And I’m beholding you and telling you it looks sharp. You were probably told that you can’t wear dress shoes without socks and that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. Bullshit.

Feeling ballsy? Add a touch of yellow or an obnoxious pattern.

Grey straight-leg chino by Nonnie Threads, small; black trim fit waxed stretch cotton “Brayden” jacket (Nordstrom) by Comune, small; black-and-white-striped tee by American Apparel, small; navy cotton button-down by J.Crew, extra-small; Weekly-Planner Notebook by Moleskine; thrifted black leather belt with brass detailing; white “Authentics,” courtesy of Vans.

Raquel - Thank you for posting this. I always thought black and navy look awesome together.. if you follow these rules!

Seth J. Putnam - NZ—

Great point. Good to remember there should be a method to the madness.

PV and Jamillah, thanks. Props to you guys!

Speaking Nonsense. - This looks amazing, I think in the end these colors look perfect together!

eupham - Yo Guys…

One important note on rocking mismatched colors such as navy and black: keep the shades far apart. A deep midnight navy will be lost against black. A true navy or even a dark indigo will look sophisticated against black because it looks distinct and purposeful. One of my favorite cardigans is navy with a black placket. And look at the varsity jackets the Woolrich Wooolen Mills did last winter. A perfect use of black and blue.

Basically, its hard to tell the difference between deep blues or browns and blacks. If you can’t tell them apart at first glance, then don’t wear em together.

made-to-travel.com - you guys are awesome, just found your blog recently and love the tone and all your styles. LOVE this post.