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Entries in mens style guide (10)


brace yourself.

Braces have been around for a long long time. Initially they were used when a belt just couldn't cut it and reinforcements needed to be brought in. When you reach a certain age and gravity hits, if you're not ready for it, your body is gonna start hanging in places you never thought possible. For this reason, man created braces and suspenders (the cheaper cousin of braces).

Unlike the awkward orthondtal treatment for your grill, braces can really add to your look. Although they can be worn with both casual and formal outfits, please be aware they don't go with everything. Don't make the Hot Topic mistake and just throw on a cheap pair of clip-on suspenders with your band tee and yellow skinny jeans. Trust me, that look doesn't work for anyone.

Like having good sock game, being able to rock a pair of braces under a coat or suit is something you don't always do just so that other people will see it. If fashion was just to impress other people we'd be wasting outr time. First and foremost you do it for you. To be honest, half the time people will never even see your socks or braces. It's one of those things you do because sometimes it's just the right thing to do.


There are a few things you should know if you're going to attempt wearing braces or suspenders. First of all, there is a difference between the two: while suspenders clip onto the waistband with a metal or plastic clasp, braces have leather button holes that attach to buttons along the inside of the waistband. This means that if you want to wear braces, you either have to buy the right pair of trousers, or spend $5 to have a seamstress add some to what you have. 

Also keep in mind you get what you pay for. If you spend $6 at a swap meet for metal clasped suspenders, you can be sure they're going to break after a few uses. Braces and suspenders come in all kinds of materials, designs, and quality. If you're going to buy some, make sure you're not spending money on garbage.

Lastly, remember you can EITHER wear braces OR a belt, NEVER both at the same time. After all, how can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can't even trust his own pants.

- James


clothes make the man.

“It is both delusional and stupid to think that clothes don’t really matter and we should all wear whatever we want. Most people don’t take clothing seriously enough, but whether we should or not, clothes do talk to us and we make decisions based on people’s appearances.” – G. Bruce Boyer

I don't believe for a second that having good style makes you a better person, or that someone without style or good fashion sense is, in anyway, inferior. But no matter what you want to believe, clothing plays a huge part in first impressions, and a significant role in subsequent non-verbal communication. It is for this reason we dress well for job interviews, and formal events. 

You don't have to be a fashionista or a style guru, but put some effort into your appearance, other people will notice; that's a promise.

- James


the run around.

Time to go to the store to pick up some goods? Let this style guide give you that casual, stylish look while you run your errands. Here's the style breakdown:

  1. Rockwell by Parra Eggplant Track & Field Sweatshirt.
  2. Tapered Vintage Straight Momotaro Jeans by Japan Blue.
  3. Grey Marl Indian Rebels T-Shirt.
  4. Oakley Frogskins.
  5. Selected Homme Rugby Shearling Desert Boots.
  6. River Island Leather Belt.

- Taylor


belt no belt.

The belt was invented during the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) as a way of holding one's garments in place throughout the day. Over time it became not only practical, but decorative as well, preventing pants from dropping to the ankles while looking still good. Amazingly, we still use the belt today, and for the most part we do so for the same reasons. 

Times have changed though. Men that know what they're doing purchase pants that don't necessarily require a belt in order to stay put. Translation: It is no longer a REQUIREMENT to wear a belt with your trousers. That doesn't mean you should never wear a belt, it just means you should free free to switch things up from time to time.

Going 'no belt' can offer a more casual/relaxed look while still appearing clean cut. For that reason, 'no-belting' can apply to both casual and formal dress.

I will say this: the 'no-belt' look does specifically cater to men and women with a slimmer wasitline, so be careful how you wear it. In other words, know your limitations.

That being said, take a look at the 'no belt' being worn well.

 - James


abc's of Men's Fashion 31.


To discuss a man's wardrobe is really to discuss a man's life, For the kind of clothes he has in it reveals his way of life; and their condition and degree of fashionableness will show his character.

- James


abc's of men's fashion 28.

shoe trees.

Van Gogh painted a beautiful picture of an old, shapeless pair of boots; and I don't think any more models are required. He made his boots look wistful and neglected; and so appear, to me, all shoes and boots without trees. Although in some cases shoes look better with some wear, the inside of the shoe or boot should always be preserved. The better care you take of your shoes, the longer they will last.

- James


abc's of men's fashion 24.

normal figure.

There is no such animal. You may be 'stock' size so far as chest and leg measurements are concerned, but it is 99 percent certain that you will likely have some idiosyncrasy of figure that makes you not abnormal but individual.

- James


free fifty, my favorite price.

There's a common misconception: in order to get a quality product, you have to spend a lot of money. This is completely untrue. While there is some truth in thinking that higher quality will generally be more expensive, it doesn't necessarily mean you always need to spend more to get it. It just means that you have to be a bit more strategic in acquiring said products.

If you want to look fresh without having to sell your kidneys to fund your shopping, or wearing clothes that are going to fall apart in the near future, you need to find the right times to buy. Bargain shopping is one of America's greatest past times.

Now I understand that being able to predict sale dates is nearly impossible. Which is why you should't try to predict them in the first place. Instead, use a little common sense and do some research. For example, everybody knows that fashions go on sale at the end of each season. So it stands to reason that the best time to buy swimwear would be the end of summer/beginning of fall. Likewise, the best time to buy a winter coat would be the end of winter/beginning of spring. There are also sales that occur yearly like back-to-school sales, and end-of-year sales. If that's not enough, many companies will stick to a yearly sale calendar that you can find with minimal research. For example, here are the yearly scheduled sales for Nordstrom:

  • Half-Yearly Sale for Women and Kids—starts Wednesday, May 23
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Men—starts Friday, June 15
  • Anniversary Sale—starts Friday, July 20 and ends Sunday, August 5
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Women and Kids—starts Thursday, November 1
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Men—starts Tuesday, December 25 online, and Wednesday, December 26 in-store

But wait, there's more. Almost every reputable clothing store also has an online store. And every single online store that I can think of always has a special "sale section" with very recent fashions. In fact, most stores will have a clearance rack in the store itself as well.

There are also several third-party companies that deal in discounted name-brand products as well. From these types of stores you can get the same products for a much lower price. Try a few of these (click for links):

That should be plenty to get you started. Now there's no reason to walk around in anything less than the best. So keep your eyes peeled, your ears open, and your umm....your....mouth closed? Your feet shuffling? Your fingers clicking on the mouse to find sales online? I guess there aren't anymore catchy phrases referring to what your body should be doing. But just keep a lookout for sales on the horizon.

- James



As a resource for men's fashion, I feel obligated to intoduce you to my absolute favorite clothing store: Topshop. Topshop is a UK-based company with stores in over 20 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, the United States has only three of those stores--Las Vegas, Ney York, and Chicago. Lucky for us they have a website.

The store is divided into two sections: Topshop (women), and Topman (men). The styles are ALWAYS new and ALWAYS super fresh. Here are a few of my current favorites:

grey tweed snapback

peach horzontal stripe shirt


blue blanket stripe denim shirt


white stripe pocket vest/tank


green contrast aztec shorts

cream anchor embroidery shorts


vera "cadiz" espadrille

I'll be honest, the website isn't the best and the prices are even worse, but the clothing is amazing. That just means that if you don't want to drop your life savings on one outift, you just need to find the deals. If nothing else, it's a great place to get ideas. 


- James



kicks for under a hundy.

It's easy for me to sit here and tell you what shoes you should buy, but if you're anything like me, what you want and what you can afford are not always the same thing. If that's the case, I'm sorry for reminding you that money doesn't grow on trees. Luckily, I've decided to provide you with what I like to call 'James's Top 10 Value Kicks.' 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of Value Kicks: Good looking oxford-style shoes for a hundred bucks or less.

I know, I was surprised that Merriam-Webster actually used the slang "a hundred bucks" as well. Nevertheless, here you go (click the underlined model names for more info):

Bed Stu - Ellington - $95

Feathers - Canvas Stentorian Oxford - $58


J.D.Fisk - 'Paul' Oxford - $83.90 (on sale)

Bed Stu - 'Orleans' Saddle Shoe - $98

1901 - 'Bennet' Oxford - $49.90 (sale price)


River Island - Low Profile Brogues - $70


Florsheim - The No String Wing Oxford - $100

Hawkings McGill - Leather Chambray Oxford - $78


River Island - Perforated - $70

Ben Sherman - Mixed Mayfair Derby - $110 (I know they're over $100, but let it slide, they're awesome)

There. Now you have no excuse to continue wearing shoes that are anything less than amazing. Every respectable man should have a few good pair of oxfords. They're great for dressing up, or keeping things casual while still looking sharp. Leather, canvas, suede, they're all good choices. Just be sure to grab a pair that you absolutely love, because if you don't love them, chances are you won't wear them. "On the strength."

- James