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Come on, Irene!

August 28th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy Stylist

While Mary braved Mexico City’s nightlife in Jean Paul Gautier, I put on my very finest hurranista (or is it hurricanisto?) fashions fit for a night out with Irene and her tornado warnings, winds of up to 40 mph, and heavy rains that have only just begun.

  • Polo Ralph Lauren striped oxford
  • Columbia anorak jacket (actually a child’s XXL that fits my short little baby t-rex arms perfectly)
  • Levis “shorts” (less fabric to get wet while you stomp through puddles)
  • Hunter boots
  • Billy Reid camp socks

Now that Irene is a bit closer in my direction , I’m going to switch it up to a pair of my most comfortable underwear and a big sweatshirt while I lay low.  Hope everyone is safe!

Fall fashion, now!

August 16th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, Straight Guy Stylist.

It’s hot.  Sometimes you can’t even get out of the door in the morning before breaking a sweat.  So for someone who loves cardigans, jackets, coats, boots, and knit hats so much, what am I supposed to do when the temperature is well above 90 degrees?

This week, as I was counting down the days until fall, I had the idea to liven up my otherwise expected summer wardrobe of sweat-friendly outfits.  Looking at the Spring/Summer 2012 collections, I picked out these two looks from Ovadia’s collection to work into my closet now – a year ahead of time!

The pop of color in the first look is unexpected, fresh, and daring while the simplicity of the second look is approachable by men of all levels of style…though I wouldn’t run out and buy a pith helmet any time soon.

Fresh take on a French look

August 9th, 2011 No Comments

– Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy’s Stylist

This week, reader Joe asks:

“I’ve seen pictures of celebrities and men on fashion blogs with small colored knots in their lapels.  What is your take on the look and more importantly, what the heck are these?”

My take on the look.

GO FOR IT!  This is a great way to be a little more individual, especially when wearing a suit or jacket in the summer.  A tiny splash of color, like the yellow you see above, can knock an otherwise completely neutral look up a notch and out of the ballpark.

What is it exactly?

The small knots you see are actually cufflinks.  Also called “monkeys fists” or “turk’s head,” this alternative to the cufflink was introduced by the Parisian shirt maker Charvet in the 20th century.  Not only is it more affordable, but it’s a bolder statement than a traditional metal cufflink and certainly more appealing than any novelty cufflink.  Traditionally made from silk, they are now more mass produced in materials like polyester and cotton.

One stop shops

You can tie the knot on a relationship with these guys by picking them up in a number of places.  Brooks Brothers offers a set for $9 and you can pick from a virtual rainbow of colors.  You can pick up a dozen in assorted colors on Ebay.  Just slip two through your shirt cuffs or put one in the buttonhole in your jacket’s lapel and voila!  The look is achieved.

Ask more questions about men’s fashion and style by emailing me at andrew@morethanmary.com

Photos via the Brooks Brothers blog.

Saturday steal!

August 6th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy Stylist

The laceless twist on this classic Bass shoe style makes it an absolute must-have for fall. I walked away from these twice now, but the price point has officially become irresistible!

Available in a great range of sizes and two colors for only $25, Urban Outfitters is worth giving a gander. And don’t worry – if laces are more your thing, it comes with a pair that you slip through yourself.

No-Go on The New, No, ALL Cargos

May 17th, 2011 1 Comment

 

Mary Note: Andrew, I couldn’t agree with you more!

- Andrew Woj, Straight Guy’s Stylist

In this month’s edition GQ is heralding the comeback of The No-Bro Cargo while I still say that any type of pant worthy of an adjective should be a “no-go.”

For me, dubbing them the “No-Bro” cargo is laughable because I think of my three brothers who are proud wearers of cargo pants in the winter and cargo shorts in the summer.  The problem with telling guys it’s OK to wear cargo pants is the fact that they’re not going to seek out the fashion forward pairs from Ralph Lauren or Uniqlo.

But even still, the designer styles that attempt to look more sleek and sophisticated look silly, in my opinion.

If the style factor is out then what is the purpose of the pockets? As men, we’re practical people.  I can’t think of a common situation that calls for such a utilitarian pant with such slim pockets!  What on earth could you put in those saddle bag pockets — pens, paperclips, maybe force in a stapler?

Obviously I’m kidding, but NOT about cargo pants.  The traditional relaxed style, even though they’re comfy, looks sloppy and the more formal approach is pointless AND unattractive.

So hear me loud and clear – unless you’re lounging around the house or making a beer run for the game: NO-GO on the cargos!

How to be the “All-American” man this spring.

April 19th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, the Straight Guy’s Stylist

Clockwise from top

H&M striped crew neck tee

BDG royal blue shorts (from Urban Outfitters)

Varvatos oxford shoes (bought at Buffalo Exchange)

H&M large-print gingham in red (on sale for $10)

H&M small-print gingham in grey (on sale for $15)

J.Crew long-sleeved striped crew neck

Sperry Top Siders, J.Crew 7″ classic chino shorts (bought at Buffalo Exchange).

OK, so from these labels, you know I don’t mean “Made in America,” but classic American style.  The trends hitting the stores right now for spring are obvious: casual, comfortable, classic.

Guys, it doesn’t get much easier and cheaper than this!!!

But it’s always helpful to have a few guidelines.  A few things to keep in mind when you’re picking up your American inspired pieces:

  1. What would JFK do? Whenever I need an idea, I flip through the internet and look at Jack on vacation with the family.  He was always flawless.
  2. Go commando! When you’re shoe shopping, think of shoes that you can wear without socks.  Nothing says spring fashion like ditching the clunky boots and chunky socks, so embrace it!
  3. Brighten up.  I normally don’t go for a lot of colors, especially red because of my naturally rosy cheeks, but it’s time to go bold or go home. Instead of your usual khaki shorts, try a solid color chino.

A couple “timeless” pieces from your closet that we don’t consider “classic” -  plaid shorts, cargos, relaxed fit jeans, crocs.  As for shirts, when in doubt, if it’s wrinkled, it’s not a classic.

Now that I have all my new spring clothes, I’m just waiting for the warm weather to permanently set in so that I can sit outside and down a nice cold beer.

Is your hubby a bit schlubby?

March 15th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, the Straight Guy Stylist

Last week, I wrote to you from my cave of sickness and mentioned that Bree had a great question about dressing men’s body types.  She writes:

I’ve noticed there is so much advice out there on how to dress different female body types, but the advice on how to dress a man is hard to find.  I’m trying to help my fiance be more stylish and feel more confident, but strugge to determine what styles flatter him the most.  He is very very tall (6’7″) with a belly and wise-ish hips/rear.  Any tips?

The best bet for dressing any body (and personality) type- male or female – is trial and error.

However, I can offer you

My quick tips for dressing a man whether he is built like a linebacker or a parking meter.

Here we go!

“Full Figured” Bass Ass
I’ve always heard women referred to as full-figured and fabulous, so why can’t we put guys into the same category?  This is for the guys who shopped the husky department with their mom throughout grade school:

  • Start anew.  Stay away from boutiques and vintage shops – places that are notorious for their small sizes – focus on stores with a wider assortment of sizes.  Larger chain stores like J.Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic all offer a tall selection.  Other higher end designers like John Varvatos and Ralph Lauren also cater to taller men.  Check out these places for a great start to rebuilding your wardrobe with pieces that fit well.  Avoid stores with “Big & Tall” in the name – the clothes in those stores have been sitting on the racks since the mid-90s.
  • Know your size.  Or at the very least, make it fit you well.  Avoid things that are too baggy: they just add excess material and create a sloppy look.  One of the best things you can do is become friends with the tailor in your neighborhood.  I’m still looking for a good one here in Philly, so if anyone has any tips, drop me a line!  In short, your clothes should be trim to your body without hugging it too tightly.
  • Express yourelf.  I’m a huge fan of personal style: express yourself through the clothes that you wear and how you put it all together. If you wouldn’t wear a bright orange shirt, then don’t buy a bright orange shirt just because it’s on the sale rack and fits you well!  Spend a little bit of money on what you know you will wear and get a great look in return.
  • Slim your style. Wear a undershirt, not a wife beater: it creates a more even silhouette.  Wear thin lapels on your jackets, not thick: it thins out your neck and upper body.  Wear a v-neck, not a t-shirt: it thins your neck and face.  Wear thin stripes, not thick: it draws the eye up without emphasizing your weight.  Wear your belt one notch looser, not two notches tighter: you want it tight enough to function, but not so tight that it draws attention to your waistline.

Short and Chic
Finding a 29-inch inseam is just as difficult as finding a 34-inch inseam.  Don’t worry I’m not going to send you to Gap Kids.   This is for the guys who bust out the step stool to reach the top of the pantry, just like me:

  • Break it up.  Wear something that clearly breaks your body up into clear, defined sections.  For me, I’ve noticed that I look best in lighter pants and a darker shirt.  This emphasizes my muscular legs and hides the extra weight that I carry around my midsection.  Don’t be too afraid to tuck in your shirt… it’s not just for nerds!  It helps break up your outfit and create a cleaner, leaner look.
  • Let it all hang out.  If you’re short and slim you could go to the other extreme and buy fitted t’s and button downs and let them hang out to make your torso look longer.  I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but skinny jeans will add so much length to your look too.
  • Be bold, but only once.  Pick up the patterns and embrace the plaid trend.  Go for ginghams, plaids, stripes, and more!  I feel like shorter guys get to have a little bit more of a quirky style, so embrace the fun that you can have with your clothes.  Just be careful because mixing patterns is quickly becoming a trend of the past.
  • Roll with the punches.  One of my favorite looks is a rolled cuff, I wear it on nearly all of my pants except for suits and dress pants because it’s such an easy way to take a pair of jeans or chinos and not only make them fit, but to make them your own.  You can do the same with jacket sleeves, shirt sleeves, and even some casual blazers…as long as your OK with the wrinkles that will follow.

My tips for shorter guys aren’t all about tricking people into thinking that you’re taller; they’ll see right through your smoke and mirrors as soon as they walk up to you. Instead, I’m a firm believer in embracing your body type whether it’s tall, short, thick, or thin.  Confidence is the only thing that will really make you stand out and look great.  The clothes can only go so far, the rest of it is in you.

Tucked in today.

March 8th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, the Straight Guy’s Stylist

When fashionistos don’t feel well, there’s nothing to do but resort to what you know is comfortable: hoodie, blankets, and bed.

I’ve spent the day unable to look at a computer screen long enough to put together a decent post, but I wanted to let all of you know that I’m still out here.  Reader Bree suggested a post on dressing various male body types because there are countless guides for women, but none for women who want their man to look good.  I’m planning something for all the guys who shopped in the “husky” department growing up!  If you have more suggestions or questions, email me (andrew@morethanmary.com) and I’ll get back to you when I come out of my cave.