Pop-Up Flea Market X J.Crew Sample Sale

You know what I like most about living in New York? Alongside Paris, it’s the fashion capitol of the world. And I’m a bonefide junkie. Pupils dialted with excitement, precision pacing, eyes glazed and glassy, drool peaking at the corners of my lips, body uncontrollably undulating, grabbing for shirts and ties, surely bystanders believe the “Intervention”  production crew is nearby documenting the agony and ecstasy of my retail therapy. Ok, so  that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I’m not out blowing thousands of dollars on clothes, frankly because I don’t have thousands of dollars to blow on clothes. One day I will. I’ve made an important decision. I’m not buying anymore clothes, except a Christmas present to myself, until the spring. Developing more self control is vital for life. I have cultivated self control in areas of my life most people claim absolutely impossible and are always flabbergasted when I tell them. It shouldn’t be that difficult to do the same for clothes I hope.

Lots to do this week. I ventured out with my homeboy Kenric to the J.Crew sample sale. This was my first sample sale experience. There were plenty of people and plenty of great clothes. I wasn’t looking for much – a sweater, maybe some neckwear. I ended up purchasing a sweater, two ties, and a beanie for myself, and optimistically got my girlfriend two sweaters, hoping she liked them and hoping they fit that scintillating body she carries with meticulous expertise. No pics of the J. Crew goods or the sample sale scene.

The  fourth annual Pop-Up Flea was this past weekend. I’m glad I discovered this impromptu menswear haven, but also slightly saddened. Saddened at the fact the only way you would know about the event is either casually walking Bleeker St., a friend telling you, or obsessive-compulsive immersion in menswear tumblr/blogosphere. I’m the latter. I should definitely devote more time to more important things. It was a sunny, breezy fall afternoon and there were hoards of other casually, sharp dressed guys just hanging outside the Pop-Up Flea. Presumably checking the scene out, live blogging and tweeting, texting, networking, and possibly shopping. Conversation was casual, personable, and informative – waxed leather, fabrics, denim construction, shoe construction, suede, and furniture.

That's me.

I politely sipped (my coffee) and surveyed. There were some labels I had heard of and really admired like Hickoree’s (dope BK spot), Levi’s. Gitman Brothers, BillyKirk, etc. But there were plenty of undiscovered labels to examine. I was most impressed by Alexander Olch neckwear and Dehen 1920. Absolutely gorgeous ties. I must have hovered around their table set up five or six times, talking myself out of buying a bow-tie. Dehen 1920 is an Oregon based company making extraordinary varsity jackets and cardigans. They were going for about $420, which is actually reasonable and accurate considering the superior craftsmanship. Next fall you can bet I’m investing in one of these guys jackets. 

Alexander Olch Neckwear

Dehen 1920

Flawless Victory.

I ended up spending only $60 with Wooden Sleepers out of Greenpoint-Brooklyn. Which was excellent considering some of the prices other gear was going for. Lovely, luxurious, 3-inch width knit tie and flannel shirt on deck. I’m really growing to love flannel shirts. Not a lot of people wear flannel in the south, so I’m really not accustom to wearing it, but I’m starting to love it.  All in all it was a fantastic event and a fantastic day. Enjoy the rest of the pics. And stay clean.

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Socks & Bow-tie

I said I would post picks of my bow-tie and socks soon. Well here are the goods. I wanna reiterate how excited I am to wear these socks.

I had a very important meeting this night. I was a little nervous but for the most part I was confident. I was confident in what I was wearing and what I was wearing made me confident. And let me tell you, I nailed it; completely nailed my meeting and was actually complimented on my look. Something  I’ve discovered is that if you don’t feel particularly confident, you should atleast dress confidently. And somehow that style confidence and swagger will translate into a confident attitude. And that’s what both you and I want. Check out the pics. I can see I’ll be wearing my vest alot this fall. Stay Clean.

J.Crew X Ralph Lauren X Levi’s

I did a bit of shopping this weekend. I love J.Crew and usually purchase something every time I step into the men’s shop on 79th & Madison.

“You know outerwear is 20% off today sir” said the dapper gentleman in the navy 3-piece suit…

 Well sure I’ll buy a vest, I mean why not? This buttton down really needed a heavier (wool fabric), darker tan tie, which I almost bought. But I held off so I’d have someting to look forward to purchasing next week. I also got some socks I’m really excited to wear. I’ve never been excited about socks but these joints are nice. Pics of the socks and bow-tie I purchased last week coming soon. Stay clean.

Tweed Run Wrap-Up

The Ralph Lauren Tweed Run was this past weekend. It was a gorgeous day in NYC; perfect for cycling and perfect for styling. My girlfriend and I decided to check out the event and check out the Rugby Store on University Place. We ran into some Occupy Wallstreet demonstrations and pressed on in style to visit the store neither of us had seen. The store is small in dimension but gigantic in style – nothing less than what you’d expect from Ralph Lauren. Here are some pics….

So we did a little, and I mean, a little shopping. I simply cannot go into a store and not buy something. It’s a problem, like for real. As a matter of fact, today i walked into the J.Crew Men’s Shop and bought a bow tie. Do I need a bow tie? Not partiularly. But I bet i need it when it’s in my closet. Anywho, I picked up a simple tan/brown striped button down, on sale might I add, and bought my girlfriend a lovely wool dress. She was really excited about the dress – because she looked so damn good in it – and excited about the store in general. Here’s a peak at the goods. Stay Clean.

Ovadia & Sons Fall Lookbook 2011

I’m in love with Ovadia & Sons. The two brothers behind the label really understand style. I didn’t think it could get much better than the labels Spring 2012 collection; a timeless aesthetic reminiscent of my favorite style period the 1920s. Yet they bring the heat again with the fall lookbook and conjour images of what the well dressed man will be wearing. See the lookbook and style review here: http://chaosmag.blogspot.com/2011/10/ovadia-sons-fall-2011-lookbook.html

Simon Spurr: Daring Elegance

Simon Spurr has done it again. The former Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Yves Saint Laurent menswear designer flexes timeless aesthetic with his Spring 2012 collection. If there were ever doubts about the breadth and depth of Mr. Spurr’s sartorial scholarship, he has certainly demonstrated with resounding achievement. The Simon Spurr brand essence is clean, classic garments juxtaposed with modern patterns and modern silhouettes. Black, white, and shades of navy, grey, and olive are represented for Spring 2012. The collection offers just what most (I’ve) have come to expect from Simon Spurr; flawlessly tailored three-piece suits. The grey on grey pinstripe three-piece peak lapel was the first of three on the runway.  There were splashes of typical spring colors in a contrast lavender, pink pinstripe, and green gingham dress shirts.

Spurr saves the best for last and unveils an asymmetrical burgundy motorcycle jacket. This hand-finished leather jacket is a vision of rugged sophistication. Placing the look at the end of the show is absolutely perfect. The jacket literally took my breath away. Jacquard garments, bold patterns, slim black denim, leather sleeves and lapels, and mesh tanks leave Spurr admirer’s with new interpretations and quintessential cool.

7 Things We Can Learn From Simon Spurr

 I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Spurr at Bergdorf Goodman and view his Spring 2012 collection up close. And let me tell you, it’s much better in person. Ultra clean; cleanest of the clean. I told Simon how much I loved his assymetrical leather biker jacket and to keep cranking out 3-piece suits. He was charming, really nice and an approachable guy. Dream come true. I was a bit nervous, i mean he’s like famous. I had my camera in my pocket ready to ask someone to take a picture of him and I, but I felt like a total geek and decided against it. Here’s a look backstage at the 2012 Spring Simon Spurr show during NYFW. The British designer’s advice for his models are reccomendations I try to adhere to everyday.

Primetime Emmys, Primetime Style

The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired this past Sunday. This is an event to honor television’s most talented stars. It’s also an event for those stars to honorably showcase their style. Every year a handful of men really miss the mark and end up on worst dressed lists across the web. This year, I’m surprised to say, saw more men acing the red carpet test than failing. If it were me, I would wear a Tom Ford double-breasted tuxedo every year. And I would never fail. The following three men did not disappoint on the red carpet.

Jon Hamm laid waste to most of his peers on the red carpet wearing a Tom Ford double-breasted shawl lapel tuxedo. Great minds think alike. Mr. Hamm could have shown a bit more cuff for spot on detailing. The “Community” star Joel McHale wore a Michael Bastian tuxedo and was as dapper as anyone has ever seen him. And that’s saying a lot given that he can be seen hosting “Talk Soup” regularly in Burberry suits. “The Office” star John Krasinski looked almost regal posing with his wife Sunday night. And really presented a vision of how most men want to spend their lives; sharply, confidently dressed with a beautiful woman.

Peak Your Interest In Peak Lapel Suits

Popularized during the Roaring Twenties, peak lapels were universally worn on either double-breasted suit jackets or formal single-breasted dinner jackets. Peak Lapels coalesced with single-breasted suit jackets and defined elegance in menswear. Whether on suit jackets, blazers or overcoats, the peak lapel always communicates class, sophistication, and style. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at peak lapel aficionado and perennial leading man of style Cary Grant. One essayist writes, “Men want to be as lucky and enviable as he is-they want to be him. And women want to land him.”  What makes Grant such an archetype? A number of things, but surely his consistent appreciation of peak lapel suits. Budding intellects like Langston Hughes, wore peak lapel suits during the Harlem Renaissance. And even notorious gangsters like Al Capone wanted to embody the gracefulness that peak lapel suits represent.

The broad V-shape a peak lapel jacket creates is ideal for displaying bold and creative shirt-tie combinations. Contemporary peak lapels are much slimmer than those originally worn in the twenties and thirties, allowing for a superior silhouette. These contemporary designs still harness the graceful nostalgia of original pioneering style. Reputable attire for the office and especially dinner dates, a peak lapel suit will set you apart as a man with choice style. Recent designs by mastermind Tom Ford, prove peak lapel suits will always be a suave selection, undoubtedly complimenting any man.

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Adoration For Junya Watanabe

Designer Spotlight: Junya Wantanabe

 Junya Wantanabe is the Japanese designer behind one of the most talked about labels in menswear. Wantanabe graduated from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and began to work for Commes Des Garcons creator Rei Kawakubo. After years of apprenticeship as a knitwear designer, Wantanbe debuted his own collection, “Junya Wantanabe Commes Des Garcons” in 1993. The fashion gods looked on us with love when Wantanabe expanded and began designing menswear.

Wantanabe’s Fall 2011 collection is a beautiful representation of fearless contrasts of fabrics, textures, and patterns. Seasonal patterns dominate the collection, particularly Fair Isle knitwear. One of my favorite pieces is a double-breasted Fair Isle royal purple shawl collar jacket. It’s visually stunning and immediately caught my attention, as it is unique in its creation and imperial in its essence. My second favorite piece is a navy Fair Isle hooded toggle coat. Again, I’ve yet to see a toggle coat this majestic from any other designers but Junya Wantanabe. The silhouette is flawlessly streamlined and the colors are meticulously complimentary. I suppose it’s only natural that I enjoy the knitwear the most from the former knitwear designer.

The Fall 2010 collection has a bit more of the rebellious attitude we associate with New York City, with asymmetrical double-breasted jackets and contrast suiting. One piece that stands out is a textured drab olive shawl cardigan, perfect for stylish layering. The most recent Spring collections do not disappoint either. Spring 2011 is a mix of colors; creams and whites, paired with shades of navy and plaid. Conversely, the 2010 collection is bold, colorful window-pane and plaid blazers, ascots, and oxford brogues.

I really can’t get enough of Junya Wanatanabe. The designer is a master of manipulating menswear classics into contemporary hallmarks. Not only is Wantanabe acclaimed in the fashion world, he is also acclaimed in the music industry. Lupe Fiasco created the track “Gold Watch”. A track dedicated to “peruse the essentials of cool”. In that song Lupe boasts “Such a good designer, Junya Wantanabe”, before shortly saying he also admires Yohji Yamamoto. What does that mean, you ask? When music and fashion begin to merge, it’s the sign of a designer at the top of his game.  

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