Wednesday, March 31, 2010

8 Timepiece Trends That Matter

Check out the first installment of GQ's 2010 watch preview here. Too lazy to check out the link? Look no further. The 8 trends are... ultra-thin, dark dials, vintage-inspired, nuts-and-bolts, time zone feature, neo-romans, complicated faces, and matte cases. For me the trick will be finding a watch with all eight (I like a challenge).

Living With Less

A few weeks ago, The New York Times asked readers how they were getting by in the economic downturn. Many people responded with their personal survival strategies. I thought I'd share a few...

"I'm doing exactly what I've always done: living within my means. Not a problem. No lifestyle change. Libraries are still free." - John Smith, Vienna, VA

"Bring lunch from home. It might not always be that exciting but it's a huge savings!" - Amanda, NYC

"1. Donate clothes you don't wear to charity. 2. Don't buy anything new. 3. Actually wear the clothes you own (OMG)." - Ew55, CT

"Enjoy things you can do, and forget the others." - Maria Teresa Quirke Arrau, Chile

"Instead of going shopping, I am hosting seasonal clothing swaps. I provide snacks, guests provide beverages. We all bring clothes." - Kelly, Long Island City

"Learn to sew so you can replace a button, repair rips, etc. on perfectly good clothes. You might even want to make your own!" - Mary, Canada

"I buy shirts on sale then embellish them to make an original, custom-made item. It saves $$ and fills the time since I gave away the TV." - Pam, Irvine, CA

"Use student clinics - medical, dental, massage, acupuncture, haircuts, etc etc. So far every one I've been to is well-supervised, clean, etc" - Anne, Portland, OR

"Drive within the speed limit - it's boring but it really saves gas! Plan your time accordingly so that you don't have to rush anywhere :)" - Aswankle, Ohio

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sale | 30% OFF at

3 days and online only. Use code EXTRA30 (or if you're like me you'll try EXTRA40 and EXTRA50, too). Ha!

On My Radar | Never Sleep by Rogues Gallery

Urban Outfitters has collaborated with Rogues Gallery to create the new line Never Sleep. Check it out on the U.O. website here. What should one expect with Never Sleep? Think classic collegiate style and, more specifically, clean fitted shirting options with coordinating accessories and pants. Rogues Gallery is one of several recent labels to join forces with Urban Outfitters to offer affordable style alternatives. What does this mean for me? Not much, just more to look forward to when browsing the sales rack at Urban.

I stumbled upon the Never Sleep lookbook, styled and photographed by Colin Leaman:

[Found via The Fashionisto]

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wish List | J.Crew

I popped into J.Crew the other day just to "look around" (always a mistake) and left with a wish list totaling nearly $1,000. Yowza. I gotta stop going there.

Two items in particular called out to me. I fear that if I don't liquidate some assets and buy these two items, I will sorely regret losing them once they disappear off the shelves.

"The epitome of rugged, authentic cool." Waterproof, waxed-cotton jacket. Features a standing collar with buckle closure, removable self belt, chest pockets, flap pockets and snap closures. Made in Italy.

This is a fisherman inspired sweater. Features a double-breasted silhouette. Shawl collar. Knit in a special corded cotton. Chunky and rugged.

It's not Spring yet...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Trend Spot | The White Collar

I don't know that the white collared dress shirt ever goes out of style among professionals, but I do know that I've seen them more and more lately on the backs of the young and hip.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prized Possessions | PF Flyers Albin Italian Canvas Sneakers

I picked these up at the Gilt damage sale unscathed last November for... (wait for it)... $5. I have my friend Alejandro to thank for inviting me. I can't say enough good things about gray canvas shoes. Back in the day when I used to skate, I would buy all my skate shoes in black. Black went with everything; and I loved the contrast of the bright white sole on a fresh new pair. Well, it's safe to say gray is my new black. You just can't go wrong with a pair of gray canvas shoes. I would venture to say the color gray goes with even more than black ever could.

What I love about these PF Flyers is the rubber toe and the neon green tread. I also really like the thick laces. With proper upkeep, I hope to be wearing these for a long time. I'd like to emphasize again you cannot go wrong with gray canvas shoes.

Sale | 20% OFF at Bloomingdale's

Good through March 28.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deals | Cole Haan & SOLES4SOULS

I stopped in the Cole Haan store in Columbus Circle this evening to try on a few pairs of dress shoes. I'm looking for a new pair for my brother's wedding next month.

While trying on some shoes, I asked the sales associate about any upcoming sales. He told me about one going on right now. Cole Haan has teamed up with SOLES4SOULS, a charity that distributes donated shoes to people in need, by offering 20% off your entire purchase when you donate your new or "gently worn" shoes (which can be any brand) at a Cole Haan store. Alternatively, you can make a donation of at least $10 online to get the discount.

If you are interested in participating, you must bring in your shoes or donate before March 29th. Note, Cole Haan does this for only 1 week every year. I was told the store doesn't do much else in the way of sales, so this may be one of your only chances to get a pair of Cole Haan shoes discounted this season.

Read details on the website here. Learn more about SOLES4SOULS here. Make a donation here.

Wish List | Lands' End Leather Braid Jean Belt

I saw a guy wearing a braided belt the other day and, for the first time in my life, thought hey, that ain't bad. No, I take that back - second time. Back in the year 1991, I wanted a braided belt like all the cool kids in Charlotte, NC who would buy them a few sizes too long, tie them in a knot and let the end hang straight down the front of their pants. The longer the better. (For the life of me, I can NOT find a good example of this online) Nowadays, you don't see too many fellows wearing the braided variety. More reason to pick one up, wouldn't you say? I definitely think the leather braided belt can have a place in any man's wardrobe. You can't go wrong wearing one with dark jeans or chinos or khaki shorts. Just don't tie it in a knot.

Coincidentally, there are a few belts on my wish list right now. I've been shopping around for a braided brown leather belt, as well as a cotton or leather belt with a D-ring buckle. So, why not buy the Lands' End Leather Braid Jean Belt ($39.50) and kill two birds with one stone? Italian sourced leather, five strand braid with a heavyweight D-ring buckle. Believe it!

Prized Possessions | Timex Military Watch

Someone in my family must be reading my blog because I received a birthday package last week at the office and this was in it. The Timex Military watch I've had my eye on. I came to find out my dear siblings went in on this together. Well done, brother and sisters. A great timepiece to add to my small collection.

A few notes on the watch: the face is a little smaller than I'd hoped (I'm guessing 38mm). Similarly, the nylon strap is slimmer and thinner than I hoped but very comfortable. The strap is also really long so I ended up cutting about an inch off and holding it up to a flame to keep it from fraying. All in all, it's a modest, low profile watch that is casual, comfortable and will never go out of style or get in the way (like my chunky G-shock).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spotlight | L.L. Bean Signature

Started by Mr. Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912, L.L. Bean is a classic American brand that has been around for almost 100 years. It's an exciting time for the family-owned business because they just launched a new offshoot this month, L.L. Bean Signature. There has been a lot of buzz about this new line, and I'm sure I'm the last one to blog about it in the blogosphere, but I'm fine with that.

The new collection "continues the look and practicality of the almost 100-year history with a difference - a new fit that wears closer to the body, with handsome tailoring and contemporary silhouettes," according to the website. In other words, everything is slimmed down and more modern looking. Exciting stuff. The talented Alex Carleton of Rogues Gallery developed and designed this new collection.

Allow me to highlight a few of my favorite pieces:

Canvas Jacket • $109

Trench • $185

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sale | 50% OFF Suits & Sportscoats at Lord & Taylor

Ever since registering on the Lord & Taylor website, I've been bombarded with emails I don't care to read. But every once in a while an email comes into my inbox worth reading. I think a suit 50% off with an additional 20% off is something worth checking out. However, I can't guarantee a great selection; I have no idea what their current offerings include. All I can say is maybe you should check this out.... if you're in the area. But don't hold your breath.

Mission Accomplished | Sperry Topsiders

So I took my own advice and stopped by Marshalls yesterday evening. Conveniently, there is one right next to the gym I go to (on 225th Street in the Bronx). I can't say many great things about this particular Marshalls except that it's a Marshalls and I love Marshalls.

I walked through the doors and went straight to the shoe section in the back. That's not true, I looked at T-shirts and then belts and then went to the back. Anyway. The shoe section was an utter mess. There was no rhyme or reason to anything; it was complete chaos. Realizing the sad state of my surroundings, I lost a little bit of hope but continued to peruse the shelves. Finally, on the end of the last aisle I saw a slew of navy Sperrys. Jackpot. I checked the sizes: 10, 11.5, 11.... nothing smaller than 10. Ugh. Refusing to give up, I continued to walk around, looking up and down the shelves. What happened next was a Christmas miracle.

Out of the corner of my eye, sitting between size 13 Reebok cleats and size 4.5 DC girls skate shoes, I spotted another pair of navy Sperrys. I grabbed them, simultaneously pulling back the tongue to check the size. Size 8, my size. I couldn't believe it. It's a miracle! I thought.

No, it was more than a miracle. It was fate. You see, this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship; me and my $39.99 navy Sperrys are going to have more than a Spring fling, we're going to spend a lifetime together (unless they fall apart on me, in which case I'll replace them without a second thought).

Mission: Accomplished.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Deals | Sperry Topsiders at Marshalls

In Denver, you can find Sperry Topsiders at Marshalls for $40 a pop (a steal, trust me). But you don't have to take my word for it.

Check out your local Marshalls and maybe you'll get lucky too. Spring is just around the corner; a pair of Sperrys will do you well.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How To | Tie a Bow Tie

I'm not a perfect person and have never claimed to be. Sometimes my memory fails me. Sometimes I'm just plain forgetful. And maybe sometimes when I don't wear a bow tie for a really long time, I forget how to tie them.

So what do I do in such a situation? I go straight to Youtube for a how-to video. One that I recently discovered (and rather enjoyed) was by Chet Cannon of "Chet Chat". Aside from being humorous, the video is well done and quite helpful when you're in need of a refresher.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spotlight |

Ever heard of Maybe you're familiar with "cash back shopping", a phenomenon that is rapidly gaining in popularity. According to the company website, Ebates, founded in 1998, is the pioneer and leader of online cash back shopping.

Partnering with over 1,200 stores, generously hands back a portion of the commission the site makes from stores. While rebates can reach up to 25%, they usually fall between 2-6%. That's 2-6% of the sale that goes right back into your back account. The cash back you accrue is sent out quarterly in the form a check, assuming the amount is at least $5. Otherwise, it's carried over into the next quarter. You can also receive the "Big Fat Check" via Paypal or have it donated to a charity of your choice.

The trick is remembering to go through the Ebates website for all your shopping needs. That and doing as much shopping online as you possibly can. I for one am prone to go straight to my nearest Target store before considering

Register online and receive emails regarding featured stores. Currently, deals of the week include DSW and Steve Madden (both 7% cash back). Other features include (10%) and Nordstrom (5%).

I just want to throw out there that after doing some Christmas shopping online for my brother last year I have $6.20 sitting in my account. Boo yah!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sale | 30% OFF at Gap & Banana Republic

This is good through Sunday, 3/21. I may head over to the Gap and pick up that denim jacket I've had my eye on...

Deals | UNIQLO Promotions

I stopped in UNIQLO a couple days ago and ended up spending way too much time there looking around at just about everything. There are some promotions going on you should be aware of. Denim, cotton button-downs, utility jackets, zip-up hoodies just to name a few. I picked up a nice plaid cotton button-down for $20 and a gray zip-up hoodie for the same price. And a water-repellent utility jacket in black for $40 (originally $60). And maybe some natural white denim from the new "+J" second collection that hit stores earlier this month. C'mon, they were only $30!

During check out, I asked the sales associate where I could find info about these promotions online. He referred me to the website ( Well, homeboy must be mistaken, because I checked the site and there was no mention of any promotions of any kind anywhere. This is frustrating to me because I don't want to have to go to the store just to find out what's on sale. Have they not heard of Twitter or Facebook or even a simple email to registered members? All I ask for is up-to-the-minute information on promotions, so I can rush to the store as soon these things hit the shelves. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spotted | Pleated Pants

I spy pleated pants. They're baaaack........

[Photo by The Sartorialist]

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sidewalk Catwalk

A handful of major designers are going to hold a runway show on Broadway all summer long. Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein are just a few that will participate. The project, called "Sidewalk Catwalk", will feature mannequins wearing one-of-a-kind creations by the designers. From June 24 until Labor Day, you can find them from Herald Square to Times Square.

Cool idea or waste of money? You decide. Here is the kicker: after the summer ends, the Business Improvement Center who is organizing the project, will auction off each mannequin complete with it's outfit. Perhaps I'm just a cynic but really??? After three months on the street, exposed to the elements and irreverent teenagers, what are these designer "outfits" going to look like? And who in their right mind is going to want to bid on them? Suffice it to say, I'm interested to see how it all plays out.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Not? | Letting the Belt Hang Out

Browsing through my favorite blogs, I found this photo today. Note the belt here. It's hard not to as it's just kind of... hanging out. Was this gentleman on the street trying too hard to look like he wasn't trying? Was this perhaps an accident or a subtle attempt at sprezzatura? I'd like to say the latter, and a successful attempt at that. Notice how you are better able to see his layering job thanks to the belt pushing the jacket aside. You get another look at the cardigan and dress shirt you'd otherwise only see up top. I wonder how many people pointed this out that day and told him his belt needed to be tucked in.

[Found via Fine and Dandy blog]

And I'm Back

To my 3 loyal readers-

Excuse the lack of posts over the last 2 weeks. It all started when I traveled to Spain for a week long Canny Dandy business retreat. While there I had the chance to explore men's fashion and local trends. Look for a few posts on that. I hope to be posting again soon.