Category Archives: Seasonal Favorites – Menswear Spring/Summer 2015

The best of the best. The latest style trends for the season…spring edition.

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Menswear Preview – Michael Bastian is Selfishly Stylistic!

Youth.

Now that’s a word that is sure to not only elicit strong reactions from people, but will also spark some strong opinionated and heated debatable rhetoric from, well… just about anyone with a pulse.  Everyone has something to say or at least has given it a thought or two about youth in this country and usually, it’s seen through a particularly critical and narrow telescope.  What will these youths become?  What kind of colleges and majors are they leaning towards? Do they have jobs?  Will they get jobs?  What social media platforms are they utilizing the most?  These are important questions.  And with good reason, each generation comes with the potential to and often does exert a major influence on society by setting trends and impacting the economy.  Well,  all this is absolutely fascinating stuff, eh bow ties?  But, let’s get serious!  NONE of this garbage about jobs, education level or economical influence is really important. Nope! What IS important about each new generation is what they are wearing!  That’s right. FASHION. T-R-U-T-H.

Millennials or Generation Y (i.e. my generation) has been the subject of great interest for quite some time.  Selfish, ambitious, spoiled, family oriented, tech-savvy and the need to have constant praise for a job well done from their employers are just some of the common characteristics attributed to millennials. And I for one must say that some of these outrageously offensive, unfair and out of line views are… okay, somewhat true, HA! Despite some of those uh, unfavorable attributes, generation y was met with a lot of great expectations.  What wonderful things would we event? What direction would we take the world (and what would we be wearing while doing so)?  Yes, as the country braced for us millennial bow ties to move into the dreaded “Yuppie” phase, one gigantic stinkin’ fart stopped us… the recession!

Whew! *feverishly fanning self* I think most of you bow ties will agree with me when I say, “recession is a b*tch!”  Ah yes, as we millennials graduated from college, it was expected that we would gently spill over and settle into the yuppie way of life. You know… well actually, some dude said it a lot better than I would, so without further ado:

“Yuppism… is not definable entirely by income or class. Rather, it is a late-20th century cultural phenomenon of self-absorbed young professionals, earning good pay, enjoying the cultural attractions of sophisticated urban life and thought, and generally out of touch with, indeed antithetical to, most of the challenges and concerns of a far less well-off and more parochial Middle America. For the yuppie male a well-paying job in tech, law, finance, academia or consulting in a cultural hub, hip fashion, cool appearance, studied poise, elite education, proper recreation and fitness and general proximity to liberal-thinking elites, especially of the more rarefied sort in the arts, are the mark of a real man”  (Hanson, 2010)

Well, I think it’s quite obvious that generation y did not reach that level of “yuppism” described above. Especially the “good job” and “earning good pay” part. Instead, we millennials have found ourselves overeducated, underemployed (many of us working 2 jobs) and living with our parents for a pathetically unforeseeable future (i.e. BROKE!). See, the recession does suck balls! And as a result, some of us clever millennials have found ways to remain fashionable no matter what the cost (which is why stores like H & M and Zara have increased in popularity). But wait! Wait. Why should we deprive ourselves of fabulous clothing? If millennials did move into the yuppie phase, what would that look like? Well, Michael Bastian has heard our prayers and felt compassion for our sorrows… in the form of his 2016 Spring Menswear Collection, rejoice!

Oh… chunky sweaters paired with crisp white shorts underneath casual button up shirts; printed dress slacks highlighted by a smart navy blazer and sunglasses; and finally, tailored suits with velvet slippers evoke a lifestyle filled with sparkling champagne, sunny afternoons on the yacht or a casual dinner party in the Hamptons. You know, the kind of lifestyle we overeducated, snooty, self-absorbed, rich yuppie millennials are supposed to be living! Luckily for us, Mr. Bastian has wiped our tears and come to our rescue by offering this collection, a fantasy to hold us over while we wait in vain to move into our yuppie phase.

Yes, we millennials need reminding of what living the fab and luxe life would look like in  a time that beckons to those days of yore when fully embodying the very definition of a yuppie was not just trendy, but an essential way of life! Bow ties, prepare to be Selfishly Stylistic.  My fashion faves for Michael Bastian’s Spring 2016 Menswear collection is here and it’s Yuppie Chic! Enjoy 🙂

Oh and one more thing, you’re gonna have to work way more than two jobs to afford these clothes LOL. You hear that? That’s the sound of reality smacking you right dab in your face! Yep.

(all photos courtesy of style.com)  *Click on pictures for full-size image!

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Ref:

Hanson, V. (2010, August 13). Obama: Fighting the Yuppie Factor Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/243667/obama-fighting-yuppie-factor-victor-davis-hanson. Retrieved August 23, 2015, from http://www.nationalreview.com/article/243667/obama-fighting-yuppie-factor-victor-davis-hanson

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Bally Menswear Preview – Revenge of the…

Admit it.  You know it’s true.  Everyone, no matter where they are in the world, has met one… or used to be one… or maybe, still is one?  No matter your race, ethnic background, gender, sex, sexual orientation or religion, they are present.  Some are the richest people in the world. Then there are those that have made it possible for us humans to see Pluto, in all its dwarf planet glory, up close and personal.  Others still, have ended up on the wrong side of the tracks or may be plotting to overrun the world… or both.

However, this doesn’t make them any less annoying or any less capable of creating excruciatingly cringe-worthy socially awkward situations.  Yes, you all know who I’m talking about. Everyone  has encountered… A NERD!!!

Nerds.  The mere mention of the word conjures up all kinds of images of fashionably challenged, irritatingly smart oddball individuals who would much rather read an encyclopedia with their pet iguana than do anything remotely cool.  Oh, but these anti-popular kids are so much more than that washed up and tired stereotypical image. Ah yes, there is so much more to nerd-dom that we’re willing to give credit.  There’s the painfully shy but harmless awkward nerd; the friendly, but still awkward nerd that’s willing to tutor you; the just plain annoying nerd who feels the need to throw how smart he/she is  in your face just for  the pure enjoyment of making you look and sound stupid… again.  And then there is the evil nerd.  Yep.  You know, the backstabbing, manipulative, deceptive, evil genius who uses his/her intellect to plan, connive and steal your idea only to greatly improve upon it, take the credit and watch billions fill up his/her bank account (you know who they are).

But, let’s play devil’s advocate for a second.  What if nerds were… cool? I mean really cool, like… trendy or dare I say…stylish? What would that look like? Who would that be? Well, look no further! That’s right, Bally has our answer… in the form of its Spring 2016 Menswear collection! Revenge of the nerds, indeed.

Hmmm,  what if nerds were actually fashionable?  Was it possible? Could it be done? Did a cute fashionably forward nerd exist out there? Impossible to prove… or so I thought. That is, until my BFF Ms. Amal Alamuddin steered me to this collection and thus, the evidence I had been looking for was discovered! Ahhh… as I gazed upon each look presented in the collection, I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the nerds that had come and gone in my life.. except now when I pictured them.. they looked like the models sashaying down the runway… and that wasn’t even a stretch. A first!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Mr. James, all the smart fashion editors for fancy smancy glossies who use really big words that nobody has ever heard of in their fashion reviews are calling Bally’s Spring 2016 Menswear show, hipster chic! And that’s not nerdy at all”. Au contraire my little bow ties, au contraire. You see, hipsters and nerds are much more alike than you might think.  Swap out the anti-social and annoying attributes for attributes that are still anit-social and annoying…but on a much smaller scale.  Add 3 full cups of a coolness factor thrown in and  what do you get? A hipster that’s what! A hipster is just a polite way of calling someone a nerd.. a nerd gone “good” that is! Yes, a hipster and a nerd are very similar, just on the opposite sides of the same scale. Hipsters are very intelligent, follow an unbeaten path and tend to favor unique non-mainstream pursuits like finding a peace of mind with,  as Taylor Swift taught us, “some indie record that’s much cooler than mine”. See. Much like nerds only more attractive.

And what a great look that formula has produced! Modern with a touch of retro, neat and slick lines in a beautiful color palette. I believe the “Hot Nerd” may be a better moniker than the hipster! And if you are like me, I tend to favor a hunky, but smart look. It’s what all men should strive for. Trust me, its what your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/groupie/mistress/friends with benefits wants! Besides that, there’s no rule that says you can’t create medically revolutionary machinery that will be able to perform the as yet possible operation of  “placing your head on a genetically engineered and hand crafted lab grown body” while looking devastatingly dapper in the process. Now, that’s a look worth seeing! My fashion faves for Bally Spring 2016 Menswear Collection, below. Enjoy!

(all images from style.com) *Click pictures for full size images!

Look 1 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 2 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 6 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 7 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 8 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 11 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 12 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 13 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 14 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 15 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 17 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 18 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 20 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016Look 21 - Bally's Menswear Spring 2016

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Menswear Preview – Balmain

It’s a very common problem most gentlemen will have to contend with at least once (if not more) in their lives: What on Earth are you going to wear on your annual African Safari?!?  This is a serious problem bow ties, very serious.  And to make matters worse, you’re going on an African Safari while in the military.  What is a wee little bow tie to do?  Luckily, for all us fashion expedition challenged bow ties, the good Lord has parted the clouds in the sky, come down from the heavens (temporarily) and bestowed the answer in the form of a blessing upon Balmain top ho Mr. Olivier Rousteing’s precious and talented head. The result? The 2016 Balmain menswear show… duh!

Now, although Balmain has a long and revered history which has placed them in contention as one of the premiere fashion houses of all time, all that means… well… nothing! Ha! Balmain truly could not be and was not at the top of the fashion world until it was endorsed by one of the most important person in the ENTIRE world.  Anyone?  Anyone?

Answer: Kim K!  Oh… and Kim K’s husband.

I mean, they practically made Balmain what It is today. Most bow ties wouldn’t have even heard of Balmain if it weren’t  for them… right?

Anyway, as I was saying, Balmain has provided us gentlemen with completely appropriate and totally practical Safari clothing. Whether you choose to just watch and observe the animals or prefer to blow their innocent brains to smithereens, at least you will be in style!  And that’s what’s most important isn’t it? Nothing is worth doing if you can’t do it in style I always say.

The collection was filled with gorgeously detailed jackets, stylish cargo pants and shorts as well as enviously well-crafted bags that’ll definitely make you want to book your safari immediately!  Dusty tans, brilliant beiges and rich khakis dominated the runway which also included a touch of military presence in each look.  The end result was a safari chic, desert sued, military suaveness that I think many gentlemen will enjoy.  Now, does that mean that each of these looks (as they were presented in the collection) sent sashaying down the runway will gracefully translate to a gentlemen’s everyday wear?  Probably not. I mean, let’s face it, there’s a real good chance you’ll look like a freak if you show up to work looking to be the only person dressed to go on a safari… by yourself.  But, but… that is why my first rule for observing runway shows is so incessantly crucial to your overall fashion well-being:  View looks in terms of individual articles of clothing instead of the whole look.  Why? Cause you’ll miss wonderful pieces (like the jackets and bags in this collection) that could be a bit overwhelming for the regular eyeball to take on a daily basis as a whole, but when viewed in terms of pieces and not the whole outfit, gentlemen might have found the formula to fashion success!

So, pack your bags, bring your binoculars, load your guns and thank fashion God Kim K. as we gentlemen are headed to an African Safari… in style this time! My favorite faves for Balmain 2016 Spring Menswear, below. Enjoy!

(All images courtesy of style.com)  **Click on pictures for full-size photos!

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: Spring 2016 Menswear Preview – Brunello Cucinelli

Well, my bow ties, it has been a hot minute or two (or three or four) since I’ve done a fashion faves post and since the menswear fashion shows are currently happening as we speak, I thought it was high time I recited the Fashion World Constitution (i.e. fall in line with fashion’s seasonal schedule) and bring you a preview of what’s trendy for Spring 2016 in real time!  Look at me getting in the fashion know how of it all… for once. Yes, I realize that it is currently the year 2015, but the Fashion World stipulates that it is NEVER out of vogue to plan your wardrobe an entire freakin’ year early.   That’s right! It’s called planning… really, really, really, really well.  Yep.

Anyway, I’m sure you bow ties are aware by now that in the Fashion World, clothing is waaay more than just tops and bottoms that you use to shield (or maybe save) strangers eyeballs from looking at you butt nekkid! No, clothing is an art form.  A vital source of expression.  A vehicle for inspiration. A way to tell the world who you really are.  Well, I can sure tell you that the average gentlemen that my eyeballs come across on a daily basis, didn’t exactly get that memo! Ha!  There is a lot of “sameness” in menswear isn’t there? I mean, you have your basic articles of clothing like a dress shirt, slacks or a suit. However, menswear does lack the versatility that is all too common in women’s wear and  the final result is an endless line of blue dress shirts and dark slacks… with an occasional tie. You’ve seen it. All the gentlemen around the water cooler at work, tend to look the same after a while don’t they? So what is a spirited bow tie to do if he wants to stand out from the sea of not so great fitting suits, but not blind eyeballs in the process by going too far? Well, I have your answer. Ready?  POLISH. Polish is looking like everyone else only better and more expensive! See. Standing out from the crowd? Mission accomplished! Sure lot’s of gentlemen wear suits to work, but don’t you want to (1) look the best (2) have the best looking suit and (3) look the best in that suit? I think so and Brunello Cucinelli agrees by giving us looks that are extremely wearable, but look better and more expensive! Polish.

Ahh, Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2016 show was full of looks that were not necessarily groundbreaking in terms of creating fresh and innovative designs for menswear. Instead, the “style” of these clothes could be found in most major clothing stores.  In fact, I believe these may be the most wearable looks out of the entire spring 2016 fashion shows. The difference? The man wearing Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2016 collection looks more refined and more luxurious and really, who doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd that way? Secretly, we all do… right? And with clothes from the runway that you can actually wear… in public… in front of people’s eyeballs! I know. I know. Sell your soul, kids, wife, dog, house, car or whatever! Gentlemen, you need these clothes, my suffering eyeballs have spoken. Below are my fashion faves for Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 Menswear. Enjoy!

(all images from style.com) **Be sure to click on pictures for full size images!

Look 1 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 2 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 3 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 5 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 6 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 14 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 15 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 21 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 23 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 29 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 MenswearLook 30 - Brunello Cucinelli Spring 2016 Menswear

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).

Fashion Faves: 3rd Entry – Neil Barrett S/S 2015

It was a dark and stormy night.  Outside the wind howled while lightning crackled in a devilish laughter.  It was late.  Soon rain began to fall, splattering like freshly drawn blood on everything in sight.  I dreaded the predicament that was before me, but I could not procrastinate any longer.  I had to venture out into the angry night… and head to my local Walgreens pharmacy (yes, Walgreens).  As I made my way slowly down the winding road, the rain began to rapidly increase as a dreadful downpour ensued and grew evermore vengeful as I came closer to my intended destination.  Above, the black sky became temporarily illuminated by the thunder and lightning which gave just a glimpse of  the bare skeleton like trees lining the road.

I paused for a moment.  I’d finally reached the pharmacy, but something ominous was in the air.  I quickly ran from the car into the store.  As I entered, I was met with an eerie silence.  Eyes peered at me from the aisles as I walked past. Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks! There.  It.  Was.  The horror!  The agony!  The despair!  I was surrounded. There was no escape; absolutely no way out.  I could feel them coming near me; my eyes burned at the hideous sight!  I stumbled, falling to the floor kicking and screaming.

“Help me!”

“Someone please help me!”

But it was no use.  I was doomed.  I couldn’t bear to look at the hellish macabre scene before my eyes. And do you  know what I saw?!?  Men… in baggy basketball shorts… wearing unnaturally big t-shirts with (*gulp*) sandals and white socks!!! I let out an ear-piercing, blood curdling scream!!

Suddenly I awoke. Finding myself in my bed panting and sweaty.  I slowly came to the realization that it was all just a horrible dream. What a relief!

The next day, I actually did make a trip to Walgreens, albeit, somewhat apprehensively  (as you can imagine). Just as I was about to go into the store, I took a deep breath and stepped inside. I must admit, I was relieved. There was nothing out of the ordinary. It appeared that good well-dressed patrons were going about their normal daily shopping activities.  I too joined in, gathering  my items and whatnot as my nightmare was all but a distant memory now.  I got in line to pay for the items but became distracted by an article about Kim Kardashian. Just as I was getting to the juicy part, a loud obnoxious voice abruptly caught my attention.

“Hey, it’s your turn! Move it already!” A voiced boomed behind me.

Well, the audacity of this person! I slammed that magazine down, turned around and there it was! Scarier than the most horrific zombie apocalypse!  More frightening than being chained to a chair in a room full of razor-sharp farm equipment… where the only other occupant in the room is Leather Face!  What was I to do?  Where was I to go?  This wasn’t a nightmare…it was real life!  Before my eyeballs stood a line…of men…all wearing unusually big t-shirts with basketball shorts…and worst of all….sandals with white ankle socks!!! And these were not just any sandals. No. No. No. These were…(shuttering) BIRKENSTOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God, what did I do to have my precious eyeballs deserve this? Why? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!?!?!

Unfortunately, my harrowing story is all too real and much too common.  Everyday, millions of eyeballs (including those of children) are subjected to the gruesome and gory sight of men’s casual wear gone terribly awry!  It’s slowly eating away at our society… and the future of children everywhere. Much like the dreaded “mommy/dad jeans”, this is a serious problem.  Is there hope?  Do we have a chance?  Well, my bow ties, the truth is that there is  a remedy…. in the form of Neil Barrett’s Spring 2015 menswear collection :). The answer to our deepest fashion prayers! Hallelujah!

Neil Barrett’s spring 2015 menswear collection was a beacon in the sky. A light at the end of the tunnel. Gorgeous fabrics and effortless casual style was just what the fashion doctor ordered. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather see gentlemen making their weekend errands in basically  anyone of these looks. Really. Any of them will do. Close your eyes and pick one!  It’s no secret that one of the most despicable, eyeball gouging, gut-wrenching faux pas in menswear is wearing oversized t-shirts with basketball shorts (when you’re NOT playing basketball) and then pairing them with sandals and socks. How and when did this happen? I don’t know, but thankfully Mr. Barrett has some much needed medication.  If you are a man or if the man in your life is suffering from this fatal fashion disease….the cure is below. Bow ties, these are my fashion faves for Neil Barrett Spring 2015 Menswear! Please wear looks or use the looks as fashion inspiration daily until symptoms have been alleviated. You’re welcome!

(images: style.com)

Neil Barrett Look 1

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Neil Barrett Look 11

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What do you think? Love my choices? Hate them? If you have a butthole then you have an opinion…and now would be a good time to share it! Comment below (but please be respectful).