The Art of Layering

Spring is the season of layers. Seventy degrees and sunny one day, 30 degrees and sleeting the next. Ya never know what you’re going to get – especially in this city. Which is why layering your look is vital to transitioning your wardrobe from winter to spring.

Men – I’m sure this idea of ‘layering’ your outfit is rather bewildering. And I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What’s the point?” I’ll give you two reasons, my friends: practicality and style.

On an average day, you usually see only one visible layer on a male: a shirt, pants, and if it’s cold, a jacket….

Sorry that outfit combo was so dull I dozed off. But really, why does a majority of our gender refuse to be anything more than “basic”? Because gentlemen, we are far from basic. Mastering the art of layering isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. It’s all about combining functionality and aesthetic. Basically, you want to be warm and comfortable without looking like a hobo.

Start with a breathable fabric – a cotton graphic tee or long sleeve shirt – then add thicker pieces. Throw on a denim button up or zip-up hoodie, then slip on a cool leather jacket. Not only will you be warm, but you’ll look cool too (no one can resist the temptations of a leather jacket).

Jacob Neminarz of Well-Tailored Life

Or take some advice straight from the NYFW runways: lightweight trench coats, denim jackets, and technical outerwear, to name a few. But my favorite layering advice for this season? Fabric blocking. Rather than color blocking, fabric blocking has so much more dimension. Plus it looks sick. Corduroy, velvet, shearling, suede, and innovative tech gear are fabrics that should be in your closet.

Most importantly, layering helps to add a little color or pattern to your look. The rich monochrome colors of winter are over. While it’s not quite time for the bright neon colors of summer, it is a good chance to start slowly working your wardrobe up to that. And if you’re not into the whole color thing, I am happy to report to that this spring is all about earthy tones. Shades of green and stone were huge on and off the runway. Paisley is the perfect pattern to transition into spring. Pick up some cropped trousers to let those ankles see a little sunlight and a beanie to keep warm. And of course, pair everything with a cool pair of sneakers.

I gravitate towards bomber jackets, trendy raincoats, and denim jackets – these are ideal for layering! Shop some of my picks:

Men’s Scotch & Soda Bonded Trench Coat • Scotch & Soda • $245

Men’s Barbour Holton Quilted Bomber Jacket • Barbour • $249

Todd Snyder + Champion Cotton Bomber Jacket in White • $348

Diesel Indigo Denim Nhill Jacket • Diesel • $200

Ami Alexandre Mattiussi Shearling-collar denim jacket • Ami Alexandre Mattiussi • $310

Wallace & Barnes MA-1 bomber jacket • J.Crew • $178

Sophnet Roadmaster 4-Pocket Jacket Black • Belstaff • $750

Ornamental Conifer Limits Leather Jacket • Lucky Brand • $950

Comfort is key in Spring 2017. If you incorporate functional fits, mixing fabrics and warm neutrals, you’ll be ready for the sunny days to come.

Keep It Brief: Underwear You Want To Show

Underwear is undoubtedly a very personal choice for any man. But gentlemen, if our boxers or briefs are going to show, we might as well make them something to look at. Regardless if you are a boxer or brief kind of guy, whatever you choose to wear should be comfortable and add to your confidence. If you look good, you’ll always feel good, that’s my motto.

I know all of my readers have impeccable taste, but are your skivvies as on trend as the rest of your look? You’re in luck because I’m sharing some of the sickest underwear lines.

Check out these 3 brands below – I promise, you’ll thank me later.

2(X)IST

This is the most underrated underwear brand of all time. 2(X)IST has been around for nearly 25 years and is an essential in my closet. The styles are meant for men who actively live their lives by pushing the boundaries with confidence. But more importantly, the comfort level is phenomenal. It’s like wearing your birthday suit. Don’t believe me? Then try them for yourselves. Shop here –> a few of my favorites.

Armani

While they’re mostly known for suits and evening wear, Armani carries some of my favorite briefs. From fit and pattern to style and color, they are seriously amazing. Although a pair is a little pricey, the quality + comfort 100% justifies the purchase. Treat yourself, men. Shop here –> best pair.

Calvin Klein

Alright so everyone knows about Calvins – and if you don’t you have some serious catching up to do. But they’re my favorite so I couldn’t resist. When it comes to underwear, no one does it quite like Calvin can. The Calvin Klein brand has become a statement. And one that I am happy to make. Shop here –> SHOP

NY Men’s Fashion Week: Street Style

Alright guys – fashion may not be your forte, but it is most certainly mine. And New York Men’s Fashion Week 2017 did not disappoint. Top designer collections made their way down the runway, while influencers and industry icons rocked the Manhattan streets in style. Social media has revolutionized a new aspect of fashion week. The streets have become nearly as influential as what’s walking down the runway. If not even more.

If you want the low down on what fashion trends are cool right now, just look to the streets. Street style allows consumers to see the current trends of the moment, while the runway shows forecast future fashion movements. The sidewalk is where the real style derives from.

Layering, bold prints, and muted colors defined this year’s street style. These looks showcased a ton of cool graphic tees, sneakers, camouflage prints, and loose fitting pieces layered together to create a laidback and casual look. Over sized coats and bomber jackets were everywhere. Several men accessorized with bandanas that gave off Western, all American, workman vibes.

On the street and runway there were a ton of looks that paired sport coats with shorts. The mixing of tailored wear with casual, vacation pieces was a huge style trend this year. Which I am a huge fan of. Refreshing “resort wear” that is relaxed yet chic definitely set the tone on the streets as well.

I rounded up some of my favorite looks from NY Men’s Fashion Week street style. I hope you can pull inspiration from these looks – I know I did.

Tieless: How To Wear a Suit With No Tie

A suit and tie go together like cookies and milk. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or like Kim and Kanye. Ok so we’re still not sure about that last one, but you get the idea. It’s a combo that’s just works. But that doesn’t mean a suit can’t go solo every once in a while. Sometimes a guy needs a suit without the pomp and circumstance of a tie – loosen it up a bit.

Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you decide to go tie-less. Remember: sometimes going solo is for the best. Justin Timberlake did it, and look at him now.

How To Wear a Suit With No Tie

Shirt is Key.

The shirt you choose to wear underneath is the key to rocking this look. Make sure the shirt portrays the look you’re going for. If you’re going the more casual route, opt for a chambray button down. Looking for something a little nicer – you can never go wrong with a pressed white oxford. Per usual, I wanted to make a subtle statement, so I went with a The Kooples shirt with a black trimmed collar. Which leads me to number 2….

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Pay Attention to the Collar

While it’s really all about the shirt, don’t overlook the collar. The collar will be another indication of the look you’re going for. You would never wear a button down collar to a black tie, but you would if you were getting cocktails with a date. Just like you would never wear a stiff collar to a bar.

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One or Two Button Drop?

How much you unbutton your sport coat or shirt is a direct correlation to how casual you’re trying to be. For the shirt, never go more than 3 buttons. It’s just common knowledge, dude. Button up all the way for a button-upped look. The more chest you show – the more laid back you’re trying to be. Or the more you’re trying to charm. Kidding. Kind of. Regardless – keep your undershirt hidden. Please.

Same goes with your suit jacket. Except unlike your shirt, it is socially acceptable to have it completely unbuttoned. This is the definition of casually cool.

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Pant Color

If you’re trying to look trendy and easy-going, mixing it up with your pants is the way to go. Try out different colors to see which combos you like best. I’m always a big fan of the navy jacket / grey pants combo (or vice versa). It’s really personal preference.

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Focus on Accessories

If you’re feeling a little bare without the comfort of a tie, try emphasizing other accessories; shoes, cuff links, socks, scarf, etc. Since you’re down an accessory, going for a bolder one is cool.

There you have it, my friends. Now you can master the art of the tie-less look! Like some of my look? Shop this look below.

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Boss Hugo Boss Genesis Slim-Fit Wool Trousers, Light Gray • HUGO BOSS • $195

Men’s To Boot New York ‘Mac’ Wingtip • To Boot • $395

Men’s The Kooples Trim Fit Contrast Collar Poplin Shirt • The Kooples • $97.98

The Kooples – Fitted Suit Jacket w/ Pocket Square Men’s Jacket • The Kooples • $411

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10 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but you know how the holidays can be. Hope you all didn’t miss me too much! In light of the New Year, I want to dedicate to today’s post to resolutions. I’m not talking about crazy and impractical goals like “I am NEVER going to eat chocolate again.” Alright for some people that may be plausible, but you get the picture.

After the holidays robbed our bank accounts and added 5+ pounds onto our physiques, New Years could not come at a better time. While NYE is a celebration of the passage of time and coming of a new year, it also gives us the chance to hit ‘reset’ on our lives. But by making unrealistic goals, you will only let yourself down. We need goals that we can rely on and better ourselves from.

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life. I felt lost and disconnected from who I wanted to be. On January 1st, 2016 I vowed to workout everyday, pursue my dreams, and live an overall more rounded life. And I did just that. Not only did fitness become a part of my daily regimen, but I also started Well-Tailored Life.

This year, let’s reach our goals together. Check out my list of New Year’s Goals You Can Actually Keep below and join me in my 2017 resolutions. Let’s do this!

10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

  1. Write a happy thought every morning when you wake up
  2. ‘Unplug’ for at least 1 hour a day to reflect.
  3. Turn off all lights when you leave your home
  4. Put away $20 a week to save up for something
  5. Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator
  6. Stop procrastinating and make a To-do list
  7. Spend more time with family
  8. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Learn something new everyday

Perspective | Chicago Helicopter Tour

Before it was -3 degrees outside, I had the opportunity of collaborating with an awesome Chicago-based company that’s taking the city to new heights. Literally. If you haven’t already heard of Chicago Helicopter Experience already, then listen up. In their own private heliport located only 8 minutes from the Loop, CHE really changes your perspective on the city – and life.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the little things. Especially this time of year. Between gift-shopping on a budget, end of the year reviews, jam-packed schedules, and everything in between, we forget how lucky we are. Sometimes we’re so focused on outside stresses, that we neglect the beauty that surrounds us. Chicago Helicopter Experience reminds us that life is too short to not make every ordinary day, extraordinary.

Also – if you’re going to take a helicopter tour, why not do it in style? Shop my helicopter look below and let CHE change your perspective.

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Wool Glen Plaid Malcolm Jacket | Theory | $745 

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Wool Glen Plaid Pant | Theory | $345

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Knitted Turtleneck Sweater | Zara | $59.90

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Mason Loafer, Light Brown | Salvatore Ferragamo | $640

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Black & Gold Acetate Glasses | Thom Browne | $560

 

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ERIK MARTHALER

Men’s Guide to Winter Hats

So we have yet to experience any terrible winter weather here in my home of Chicago, although we are notoriously known for our awful winter weather. The inevitable is looming, and I have already begun to invest in some staple winter essentials; above all being hats. Here are some of my favorite hats currently in my closet, as well as some of the styles I can only hope will make winter a little less frigid, and a lot more stylish. Looking good when you’re freezing cold can be tough, but it’s not an excuse not to!

Barbour Castleside Wool Beanie |  $59

This beanie is the perfect everyday winter hat to grab on your way out the door when it’s a little bit colder than you expected. Knitted and made from 100% wool,  it is crafted in Scotland where they know a thing or two about it being cold. This Fair Isle design styles a warm and cozy hat you’ll have forever. 

All Saints Charge Trilby Hat | $70

Made from wool, with a fully lined interior, this hat is perfect for dressing up a day-to-day outfit. Casual, but with a slight elegant flair, this is one of my favorites. Trilby hats never go out of style, and you must have one as a winter essential.

Zara Camouflage Hat | $17.90

This hat is not only functional, but it’s stylish too! The multicolor camo knit is a great everyday piece. Throw it on when you’re going for a run or pair it with a trendy leather jacket for a night out with the guys. 

John Varvatos Jacquard Knit Hat | $198

A crafted wool-cashmere blend, this hat is a fearless take on a classic style. Not many guys are bold enough to rock leopard print, but I don’t care because I LOVE it. Its sophisticated subtleness is what makes it so unique. I wear this almost every day. 

Ted Baker Charlie Knit Beanie | $75

Seriously, you can never have too many beanies. Girls have it easy with the long hair, but us dudes need to worry about our ears freezing off. This Ted Baker hat is awesome. The pompom adds a hint of whimsy to a cashmere-softened cable-knit beanie that makes for a smart seasonal staple.

H&M Wool-blend Cap | $12.99

Okay – not necessarily a winter hat, but this wool blend cap is a classic. Once you get over the vision of the ‘Newsies’ boys, you’ll wear this all the time. It’s the perfect way to dress up an outfit while looking like a old school newsboy.

Winter Styles For The Everyman | Zara

Despite this November’s uncharacteristically warm weather, winter is on its way and it’s time to start preparing. But I am going to keep today’s post short and sweet. Men – for those of you who are struggling to find pieces that are sensible AND cool for the upcoming winter season, Zara has everything you need. Whether you’re looking for a casual cool office look or a grungier street style, the international ready to wear brand has it all.

This year’s collection entitled ‘Simple Present’ focuses on the modern essentials for the everyday man: a mix of classic elegant designs and trendy pieces meant for laying in a neutral color palette. Here are some of my favorite from Zara’s Autumn Winter 2016-2017 collection, but I can promise you that I will be going back for more!

Zara Braided Cardigan

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Buy here: zara.com

Zara Camouflage Bomber Jacket + Zara Skinny Jeans

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Buy jacket here: zara.com | Buy jeans here: zara.com

Zara Suede Sweater

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Buy here: zara.com

Zara Herringbone Coat

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Buy here: zara.com

Zara Nylon Jacket

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Buy here: zara.com

Carry On Essentials

I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to jet off to warmer weather as soon as the frigid Chicago winter hits. Goodbye Chiberia, hellooo Mr. Sun.

When it comes to preparing for a trip, packing is relatively easy. Especially for guys. Whether for business or pleasure, your wardrobe will just come naturally depending on the destination. But when it comes to what to bring on the plane in your carry on, things can get tricky.

You have to follow specific guidelines and make sure all of your products are less than 3.4 fluid oz (how they got that number, I will never know). Lucky for you, I’ve pulled together my go-to carry on checklist to survive your next flight.

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  1. Lightweight jacket | Orvis Travel Jacket, $169 | orvis.com
  2. Face wipes | Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, $24 | birchbox.com
  3. Portable phone charger | Slim Marble Portable Charger, $24 | urbanoutfitters.com
  4. Dry shampoo | American Crew Boost Powder, $10 | amazon.com
  5. Cordless headphones | Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Earbud Headphones, $140 | bestbuy.com
  6. Neck pillow | Any airport newspaper stand
  7. Lip balm | Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, $9 | bloomingdales.com
  8. Toothpaste tabs | Lush Miles of Smiles Toothy Tabs, $20 | amazon.com
  9. Sunglasses | Ray-ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, $150 | macys.com
  10. iPad | Apple iPad Pro in Space Gray, starting at $600 | apple.com

Men’s Winter Jackets Under $200

Coat season is upon us, men. And let’s face it – that puffy ski jacket you bought four years ago just isn’t cutting it anymore. Besides, do you really want to show up to the office or a first date looking ready for the slopes? I didn’t think so. It’s time to step up your winter wardrobe and invest in a jacket that keeps you warm while looking cool.

But who said layering up for the winter had to cost a fortune? To make purchasing easier on you, I’ve rounded up my top 8 favorite winter jackets under $200. Trust me, your wallets will thank you when holiday shopping rolls around in a month!

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Marc New York Wool Blend Peacoat, $199 | nordstrom.com

 

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Zara Biker Jacket, $149 | zara.com

 

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Black Rivet Wool Blend Coat, $168 | nordstrom.com

 

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Johnston & Murphy Melange Knit Full-Zip, $128 | johnstonmurphy.com

 

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Patagonia Better Sweater Hybrid Zip, $179 | nordstrom.com

 

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Banana Republic Duval Jacket, $198 | bananarepublic.com

 

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Vince Camuto 3-in-1 Softshell Jacket, $198 | nordstrom.com

Trend Alert: Bomber Jackets

As we all know, much of menswear fashion is accredited to military history – especially the bomber jacket. Haven’t you ever seen Top Gun? No surprise here,  the bomber jacket  – or MA-1 if we’re getting technical – was not always the stylish garment it is today. In fact it was originally a practical piece for military pilots – hence “bomber” jacket. In World War I airplanes did not have an enclosed cockpit so pilots resorted to bomber jackets to keep them warm.

The military piece has been a sartorial choice throughout the years since its introduction. From the 70’s when British punks heavily donned the jacket to the 90’s where it had a heavy influence on the west coast rap scene. What was once a necessity for warmth rather than fashion, is now a wardrobe staple.

Typically worn oversized due to pilots wearing plenty of gear underneath, the modern day bomber jacket comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. I prefer a tighter fit as I like a more tailored look (pun intended) however, the original oversized fit pairs well with the athleisure trend.

Throw this jacket over a loose t-shirt, some joggers, and a pair of Adidas and you have yourself a casual yet refined ensemble. The bomber jacket has endless stylish options and will surely be a conversation starter.

Check out a few of my favorite styles below for some inspiration!

Hugo Boss Bavot Reversible Bomber Jacket | buy herebloomingdales.com

 

Zara Perforated Bomber Jacket | buy herezara.com

 

Ralph Lauren Slim-Fit Waxed Bomber Jacket | buy heremacys.com

A little more inspiration:

 

The Lazio | SUITSUPPLY

A man can never have too many suits. But if you can only fit one in your closet, then the Lazio Suit from SUITSUPPLY should be the lucky winner. Defined by its sleek clean fit, the Lazio cut is a more youthful version of the classic tailored suit. With a slim notch lapel and lightly padded shoulder, this 2-button jacket emits a sharp silhouette.

The suit is a power move. When you dress like a boss, you feel like a boss. Gone are the times of baggy trousers and over-sized jackets. In men’s fashion today, a suit should look custom made. Rather than hide in layers of fabric, a well-tailored suit should exude confidence and broaden your features. And the Lazio cut does just that.

A suit doesn’t have to be double breasted with peaked lapels to play the part of a CEO. The slim notch lapel feature on the SUITSUPPLY piece is subtle and gives off an effortlessly cool appearance. In contrast, the lightly padded shoulders automatically broadens the jacket. Unlike un-padded shoulders, which tend to give off a more natural and casual appeal, the padded shoulder provides a sharp profile and strong, masculine silhouette.