One of the common frustrations in my day-to-day life is the fact that I have bad eyes. They are weak in the sun, dry at night, and aren’t particularly good at seeing things that are close by or far away. It’s been a constant source of annoyance over the years, but I’ve quickly found that the best way to manage them is to take good care of them. Of course, anyone with a prescription knows the out-of-control cost of glasses these days; as you can probably imagine, that’s where Warby Parker comes into play.
My tumblr inbox is starting to get full again, so here’s another slew of questions from my readers and my best attempts to answer them.
If you have a question, the best way to get an answer is through the Disqus comments on the bottom of the pertinent article; this helps reduce the amount of questions that are asked over and over again and adds to the great conversations already happening there. If that’s not to your liking, you can hit me up on twitter, email, or the ask box (but the latter will take the longest time for a response).
How often do you get the opportunity to attend a wildly extravagant birthday party in City Hall? Well, once every year - if you know the guy.
Tuxedo - Suitsupply (more coming soon) | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Grosgrain bowtie - The Tie Bar | Square - Kent Wang | Velvet slippers - Church’s for Brooks Brothers | Cufflinks - gift | Suspenders (not seen) - vintage | Socks - Pantherella | Glasses - Warby Parker
FStB is on TSB
A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of meeting up with Dan and Alex of TSBMen and working with them to create an editorial discussing my personal style. On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with TSBMen (formerly The Style Blogger), the site was created by Dan Trepanier about 5 years ago and has since grown into one of the largest men’s style sites in the world. I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with their site if you haven’t already.
The TSB site has often taken a different path than the hundreds of men’s style blogs out there, but I have always appreciated that they have remained an independent voice on men’s clothing in a scene overwhelmed with groupthink and re-hashed content. The TSB team has continually churned out original writing and photography on their site, which is something that is surprisingly rare these days.
On top of that, Dan and Alex are two very entertaining and down-to-earth guys; it was great to spend some time getting to know them and working with them on this editorial.
As you would probably expect, I used this opportunity to talk about the merits of a small, simple wardrobe and how I’ve used that as a foundation for my own personal style. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks again to Alex and Dan for making me look cool, and for including me in their great library of work.
The Search for the Perfect Breton
Over the years there have been a few items that I have attempted to add to my wardrobe, only to be thwarted by unexpected problems. In these cases, I have spent hours trying to find the perfect item, only to discover issues with fit, style, or material. It is a frustrating experience and one that I’m sure many of you have had in one form or another.
One such item for me is the Breton - a classic men’s and women’s garment that, like so many others, began as a military uniform. The Breton was invented by Saint James for the French Navy in the 1850s; the classic navy/white stripes were supposedly used to help locate sailors that fell overboard. Since that time, the garment has become a symbol of casual elegance all over the world.
I’m heading to Vegas tomorrow to check out the recently completed Vegas High Roller. It’s the world’s largest observation wheel at 550 feet, and I had the pleasure of working for the firm that designed it. One of the best things about being a structural engineer is seeing the projects you’ve worked so hard on become a physical reality - there’s nothing quite like it.
Here’s what I’m bringing:
- Navy suit with white linen pocket square
- White spread-collar shirt
- Simple navy tie
- spread-collar oxford shirt
- Chambray shirt
- a brown leather belt
- Swim trunks for the hotel pool
- Navy cotton blazer
- Black oxfords for the evening
- loafers for loafing
- sneakers for…sneaking
See the rest of my packing posts here.
Chinos for Spring and Summer
Like I mentioned in my "Spring Selections" post, chinos are a great item to have on hand when the weather starts to warm up (and they’re much more affordable than loafers, too). Like many other popular men’s garments, chinos have a military background but have become immensely popular with civilians over the decades. They offer a casual alternative to denim, and are equally appropriate in business casual offices and summer beach houses. I generally look for chinos in the off-white, grey, and khaki spectrum, but there are plenty of companies offering them in bold colors. The choice is up to you.
I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite models below; any half-decent men’s store should have plenty this time of year, but these are the ones that I’m most familiar with.
Loafers for Spring and Summer
After recently writing an article on my favorite spring items, I decided to delve in to a few specific pieces that are worthy of their own conversation. One of these items is the loafer, which can be an attractive and versatile addition to any shoe wardrobe. I generally wear loafers as a replacement for sneakers, when I have a casual outfit that I want to polish up a bit. Loafers can certainly be worn with more formal clothes, but I like them best with heavily worn chinos or denim and button-down collar shirts.
My preferred loafer is of American or English descent; I enjoy the comfortable and casual sensibility that they evoke, and I am not particularly fond of the more aggressively styled Italian loafers I see out there. Although there are many derivations of loafers on the market these days, I will focus on tassel and penny varieties (both of which have a rich history in the US). I feel that the penny loafer is easier to wear (and therefore a better first purchase), but tassels are certainly having a moment right now and have more than earned their reputation as a “classic” over the years. The list below highlights the best manufacturers and models for those looking to add to their footwear selection this Spring.
I am no stranger to used clothes. Although I’m not a skilled thrifter like Ben or Jason, I still hunt for used clothing on websites like eBay and Styleforum in order to buy high-quality goods that would normally be outside of my price range. Buying used clothing is a great option from a fiscal perspective, but it also reduces your material footprint on the world and helps conserve our limited resources. All in all, I think that it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
Of course, an item’s used value largely depends on the quality and condition of the garment; items like socks and t-shirts will not hold much used value at all, but some items have a unique way of appreciating in value as they get older. An example of this would be raw denim, a menswear staple.