For Men: When you want to look badass, Nicholas K's got (the clothes on) your back.

I was going to cancel this post because it looked as though Spring had finally decided to stay for good.  But then the weather got nasty again this weekend, and I realized people may still be in the market for a spring/fall jacket, that nice in-between bit of outerwear that is not too heavy but still keeps you warm (and relatively dry) when the weather just can't decide what to do with itself.
After Nicholas K answered my prayers by outfitting me with the uttermost perfect black jacket, they've quickly lodged the label among my most favoritest designers ever.  I can't claim I'm quite 'cool' enough to be wearing all the fantastic things they create, but the styles actually make me want to be that 'cool.'
When I received my black jacket and started prancing around in it, I found that my guy was jealous of how 'cool' I suddenly became.  Ah, but you, too, can be as cool as I!  I blithely told him. Because Nicholas K makes menswear that is even more gorgeous than his women's clothing.  
It's almost enough to make you want to get riddled with tattoos and ride a motorcycle, or just saunter down the street in a cloud of cool-itude.  Check out some of the styles from the Spring 2010 collection:

For Men: Loungin' in comfort and style

When it comes to clothing, guys are pickier than you would think. But what we're looking for is not so much color and style per se, but more about comfort. Now that is a loaded term, so let me name three characteristics of comfortable clothing:

  • Low maintenance
  • High quality fabric that feels good next to the skin
  • A good fit, so you don't look sloppy
People assume that comfort is necessarily at odds with words like "stylish" or "fashionable," but that's not the case. It's possible to achieve both if you watch for fit, consider color, and commit to the "casual" look all the way from head to toe (if you don't go 100% casual, you end up looking messy).

I've been on a "loungin'" vibe lately and finally got around to take some shots around the house.  Great for hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, grooving to some lowkey music as you putter around the house.  Simple, understated, comfortable... it's loungin', baby!

Here are some of the style choices that's got me inspired to get dressed these days:
  • Colors: Muted earth tones (browns, beiges, seaweed-ish greens and greys) so you can mix and match easily.  
  • Hats: They embody 'ease' because you don't have to worry about doing your hair! I'm partial to straw fedoras because they hold their shape and don't get too hot when you wear them.  
  • Solid color long-sleeved tees: They are super comfortable and are so easy to layer (wear them by themselves or under short-sleeved tees, vests etc). Club Monaco has some long-sleeved shirts on sale and they are the most comfortable shirts I've ever owned. Alternative Apparel also has great comfortable and affordable stuff (Nordstrom Rack carries their stuff for cheap!)
  • Soft cardigans: Worn unbuttoned, over V-neck tees
  • Pulled-back beanies: Worn sloppily on the back of your head.  I don't know why this is so comfortable -- it looks kind of ridiculous I'll admit, but you get a pass because it's got this interesting balance of capturing some of the warmth from your head, but exposes your ears to let off some of the heat.  I've seen this in a few magazines so I can't claim credit for it, but it's so comfy!
  • Lightweight Hoodies - Spin-off of the long-sleeve T-shirt, with built-in "man caves."  Zip-up hoodies tend to be bulkier and have a more youthful, skater vibe (which is cool if that's the look you're going for).  
My two favorite looks (above): 
  1. Light grey cardigan (7 For All Mankind), white V-neck (good ol' Hanes), vintage striped scarf, dark grey shorts (River Island), grey sweater cap (H&M)
  2. Brown henley (Alternative), striped vest (Ted Baker), black straw fedora (Groovin), dark grey shorts (River Island - but you can substitute this with jeans, chinos, etc.)
Love it?  Hate it?  Leave a comment (and send in your own pics if you've got 'em!)

For Men: Men of Capri

Fellas, hear me out.

Shorts are as natural to a guy's wardrobe as a basic white t-shirt.  There's absolutely no doubting that.  And shorts being the length that they are these days - shorts are practically capris already.  So why note consider adding a pair to your warm weather wardrobe arsenal?

Maybe for starters we can call them 3/4 length shorts.  Does that help?  Probably not that much because there's general fear amongst the male ranks for anything "fashion-y" - especially in the States.  But I will say that our brothers in Asia and Europe embrace these as a staple to their warm weather wardrobe and I've only recently started to incorporate them into my mine... and I must say that I genuninely like them.

Truth be told - I thought they were, for lack of a better word, "fruity" and would set me up for public humiliation so I never considered them.   Already called names for having floral print shirts, I was adverse to adding a pair of capri pants for fear of further name-calling. 

While shorts are comfortable, I fully recognize how shlumpy they make me feel when I wear them because they're generally pretty billowy and bulky (esepecially with the cargo pockets).   And they for sure don't pass for anything above casual - which further limits them in terms of occassion (although having an uber-lax dress code at work - I never feel quite right lounging around in shorts at the workplace).

So I saw a pair at the mall and figured that I'd give them a try just for the hell of it.    I was surprised immediately.  First of all - they have a much more flattering silhouette when compared to bulky shorts.  I'm not the tallest guy out there, and they are slimmer cut closer to the leg/butt  to so they don't look like you're borrowing you much taller, fatter brother's clothing.  The pair I tried on still had all the cargo stuff goin on (which is helpful to stuff wallet/keys/phone in various pockets)... and it looked great!  You can put a dress shirt on and a blazer and wear a pair of loafers without socks for a very "euro" but very comfortable and dressy look (especially for california standards).

For the brave - get a pair of stark white - it just looks clean and sharp.  A khaki pair always looks great.  Or if you're feeling cheap - you can take a pair of khakis and fold (or roll) them up like you'd fold up the sleeves of a dress shirt if you were getting hot.

So I have a few pairs of "manpris" now - a plaid-ish pair and a dark charcoal grey pair with pinstripes from H&M (they were $14.99 each!)   If you can't make the leap - a good pair of more tailored shorts that hit just around or above the knee are a much more versatile piece that I'd encourage all men to own.

The idea of the capri pant is funny - I fully admit that - but they seriously look better than shorts.  Give it a try at least before you judge - I have a feeling you too may be pleasantly surprised.