Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A lot of colour for a Browne

A few months ago I touched on the, er, adventurous foray into meggings (the aptly named male legging), with a few off hand comments made about the "dangers" of feminizing men's fashion in such an absurdest ways that I never thought I'd meet a rebuttal in the form of anything less than Eddie Izzard.

Ah, but for the plans of mice, men and meggings, there are designers like Thom Browne.

A designer by way of his early days with Club Monaco, themselves under the monolith of respectable menswear, Ralph Lauren, and deservedly celebrated, Browne has made a name for himself by redefining the art of casual class. His latest project though is far afield, as seen this October with the release of his imaginative 2010 collection.

Bridging the age old gap between mens and womens style has always been a leap of faith into a dark pit for the male, where we can't see the other side, and the ledge we're jumping for may actually be in the next chasm over (unlike women, who had the foresight to bring a few flashlights and a collapsable footbridge). A heaping pile of misdirection have been required for anyone setting this particular scene in the past, such as Glam and Hair rock's macho posturing in eyeliner and jaguar tights, two examples of "fuck you-ship" that rather than being met with shock and disapproval, would today run up against a mighty wall of "so?" and "who cares?", among other comments.

The modern world requires a subtle touch for such a crossing to work.

Vanguard of the revolution against the convenience of pockets

Mssr. Browne, to his credit, has created a whole new look. I'm just not sure if mature-male-as-school-girl is necessary whatsoever. And that's the best design out of the collection. The rest serves up a steady helping of operatic polkadot pant suits glittery beach caps with built in night vision goggles.

Not that it's all bad. Lose the cap and that's not a bad cardigan and tie combination, and you've gotta dig the leather jacket and reds (sans lips) our friend in the skort is wearing.

If only someone would get him some pants.

Images care of Fabulon

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Freddie Face Warmers

Anyone with the fortune to walk by an American Apparel daily knows that they serve as the epitome of "win some, lose some". While one month, a display may feature very stylish and, most importantly, wearable outfits for the us lowly commoners with an interest in stretchy fabric, another month may see blinding electric neon clothes made only for those residing in the negative-sizes with a power outlet somewhere up their butt.

The following fits snugly in the "lost it" category.

Behold, the Unisex Mustache Mask

As a Canuck, I really do understand the appeal of the hood, or balaclava, or the ski mask, or the face-bag as one friend in elementary school used to call them. A frozen face is never a pretty sight. I also understand the desire to not make the wearer look like they're going to take hostages. My disappointment with these Mustachios is two pronged. First, they look like they were drawn on by a stockboy at the behest of their overstressed boss, rushing around the store muttering something about "liquidation"... unsure if they mean stock or staff.

Second, it's been done better.

They even come with mix-n-match mustaches.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Many Happy Returns

How better to celebrate the return to the airwaves of the pop-satire brilliance that is The Venture Bros. than with this month's Auxiliary Magazine's interview with co-creator, writer, artist and fashion fanboy Doc Hammer?

"I like to spread myself thin in the arts. I think it's good to suck at as many disciplines as ya can" - Doc Hammer

Getting to read it for free at AuxiliaryMagazine.com of course!

Hammer talks shop, show, style, and about his band Weep's first album, Never Ever.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Versatile Vest

Yep, the seasons are changing here in North America, and that means it's time to pull out your long-sleeves and head to H&M to grab a new pair of denim. While you're out, you might keep in mind that there's no better time to invest in... a vest! Seriously–a vest is just the thing to keep you looking snappy and up-to-date. And no, we're not talking about that kind of vest, as classy as it may be.

A well-fitted suit vest (or "waistcoat," as our friends in Great Britain refer to it) that can be worn with a variety of outfits is a wardrobe essential. What we're going for here is a herringbone pattern, or perhaps a fine pinstripe. As far as color goes, a subtle grey/brown blend or an in-between grey, so that it'll go with those great brown Mike-Konos Oxfords you picked up last weekend. Versatility is the name of the game here, because if you can wear it with jeans, slacks, and a full-blown suit, you've just tripled your investment.

And just like that, you've already taken a step to turn the economy around. Sort of.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Indie Spotlight: Optics

Are you lucky enough to be endowed with imperfect eyesight? If so, you should seriously consider checking out SALT. Optics for your next pair of specs.

SALT. Optics is a relatively young company, hailing from Southern Cali since 2006. Their dedicated, experienced team designs and assembles their eyewear in-house, using impeccable style and craftsmanship. In the collection you can find everything from Tortoise-Shell Acetate frames to classic Aviators, and their designs are spot-on.

The WAYNE frame / Black Rain color combination is a personal favorite, especially with fade-tint lenses.

Find them at your local independent eyewear specialist.

(and yes, the company name is suffixed with a period.)

Image/Product Page: saltoptics.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Burn your pants

Back from summer vacation sporting the hottest red sun burn orbiting a star can give, only to find that all bets are off

"Meggings" have returned.

And doesn't he look excited to be wearing them?

Fascinatingly, although a google search drew up a great many opinions about meggings, not one helped in finding somewhere to buy a pair (a fate worse than death for one who can't even sew a button).

Indeed, meggings hold a peculiar mystique in the world of men's fashion, residing in the same uncanny valley as kilts... pretty cool for an idea, but a bit too fem for the average dude. Anyone who's seen the grey concrete of a side walk would find themselves surprisingly familiar with meggings already, as the multitude of joggers and cyclists passing in "why so tight?" athletic wear seem to increase exponentially every summer. But confined to sport, they have a reason for invading the world of guys, as easy to explain away as swimmers shaving their legs.

Removed from this masculine logic, they become a stylish Bermuda Triangle, intriguing and seductive, but mysterious and deadly, luring young lads in with the promise of being years a head of the trend game, only to slam shut at the last second, forever lost to a world of Cosmanics, like manscara and beard gloss, never to drink beer and play full contact football in stripclubs again.

Image care of the beautiful people at Style Sightings

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Importance of Shoes

Friday, during a long train ride, a saw a guy get on the train wearing a straw hat, check shirt and cuffed, dark-wash jeans. It may have been a simple look, but compared to the rest of the slubs on the train wearing cargo shorts, sneakers and t-shirts that looked like "free gifts with purchase", the outfit looked good. That is, until he moved to sit down. That's when I saw his shoes. Crocs.

This is the importance of shoes. The outfit was clean, casual and smart, but the shoes ruined it. I've been thinking all weekend about how many different and better pairs of shoes could have kept that look together. Paul found the perfect ones yesterday when he wrote about these Sperry Top Siders (also mentioning the importance of shoes. Paul, you read my mind). Comfortable, summery, good for walking around the city--these shoes do everything Crocs do, only they look good doing it.

Cuffed Jeans, Levi, $98
Straw Hat, Village Hat Shop, $18.95
Terracotta Check Shirt, Land's End, $19.99
"Do" Boat Shoe, Sperry, $80

Friday, July 31, 2009

Shoes that your Grandpa Wore

Having a good pair of shoes to complete your outfit is crucial, and summer is the perfect season to showcase your stylish kicks. Since 1935, Sperry has made some of the best summer footwear: the classic Top Sider.

[image: sperrytopsider.com]

These 'Siders are great, whether you're cruising the lake in a Chris Craft, or getting horizontal in the backyard hammock. They can be dressed up or dressed down–-versatility is always a bonus (especially during prime wedding season).

Grab a pair, and be creative. Classic never goes out of style.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Travel Stylista: Ellington Leather

There's nothing more fashionable than traveling with great bags. Whether it's your signature messenger, a carry-on duffle, or a simple field bag, Ellington's got you covered. Their beautiful creations are durable, utterly masculine, and not outrageously expensive to boot.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vintage Links

Thanks to Paris over at our sister site Fashion Me Fabulous for dropping it in one with with this brilliant redesign of the only accessory a man truly ever needs; a vintage leather caddy bag courtesy of Etsy.

Golf has always had it's own ideas about style over the years, with little regard for how they look to the uninitiated or the colour coordinated. Until a few years ago, saying "golf" and "style" anywhere in the same breath/sentance/paragraph/multi-volume series would have led to at most a chorus of laughter, at least a chuckle or two.

Except for this guy. He's my new hero

Tiger's distinct red & black outfits saved the sport from itself, bringing a boardroom casual atmosphere to the one place many go to escape work. The downside of course being that looking sharp at the links can hold all the excitement of baking pies in a snow bank (that is, not even considerable).

Don't forget to check out the other brilliant luggage and bag designs in the collection.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a tee off in 5.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

But does it smell like moth balls?

I have to admit, I've been privy to the images of some pretty terrible things in my life, terrible films and haircuts that will never be washed from the darkest and most nightmarish recesses of my mind... but few have been as revolting, as this jacket.

70% off?
I can't imagine why

The Tommy Hilfiger Madras Two Button Trim Fit is perfect for anyone interested in traveling back in time to the 60's and 70's to hunt upholsterers... I say upholsterers, because the last time I saw that jacket, it was a couch in my grandmother's basement.

As a fan of both chic and geek, I've allowed myself a benchmark for what constitutes "too damn silly"; if you put on a jacket, and look more ridiculous than Doctor Who, then take it off and hang it back on the racks.

Granted, this is going to start getting difficult the closer Matt Smith comes to looking like any other hipster at the bar on a Saturday night.

Suspenders and elbow patches never go out of style

Monday, July 13, 2009

The shirt off my back

Back after a week of sun, fun, and a summer flu that saw me log more hours dead in bed than during all of college, so we'll be looking to take it slow on the road to recovery... which just means two for one Tuesdays are in effect.

First, big shout out to the good folks over at T-Shirt Alert, who despite being slower at updating their articles than I am, have hours of archive material and links for days, to interest any t-shirt aficionado.

Secondly, more democratic designs, though sadly many of them rubbish, can be found at T Shirt Countdown, who turn to the vox popular to determine what's in and what's out of their catalog. Nothing mind-blowingly fantastic, but sites like this bubble with far too much potential to avoid (and are great places for habitual rack-divers to get their fix far from the hustle and bustle of Winners).
I'm not saying it's a good design
I'm just saying they sell it

Monday, July 6, 2009

More taste than tofu

As we draw closer to the end of Feet Week (a week has ten days, right?) we trod through weirder and weirder country in the search for something soft underfoot.

Vegetarian Shoes requires no description at all, but since I have an article to write, a little redundancy can be forgiven. This British company, based in a single shop in Brighton, proudly offers quality footwear in a wide variety of styles for both men and women, with a professional guarantee that at no point did anything sold, from laces and velcro to tongue and sole, have a pulse.

From owner, creator and designer Robin Webb:
I had started to teach myself to make shoes four years earlier after leaving Art College. I was inspired to hear that in parts of Africa, car tyres were recycled into soles. This got me thinking and soon I was making shoes out of anything I could lay my hands on, but being veggie I didn't want to use leather.

Then I made an exciting discovery, -a synthetic Microfibre material used for yachting upholstery. It looked and felt like supple leather, but was 'breathable', unlike other plastics. After some experimenting, I realised that this was what I had been looking for, and Vegetarian Shoes was born.
I'll admit, there's really nothing too strange about anything they offer... even their vegan leather is pretty main stream these days in terms of alternatives to traditional fabrics... it just makes me wonder what past lives my Chuck Taylors had, as I can't find a "vegetarian friendly product" sticker anywhere on them.

You won't believe it's not leather.
Or you may, I don't know.

A definite must-see for anyone looking for handmade products of an excellent quality, especially for outdoor and nature wear.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

Today we jump over to the good folks at Style Crave for a look at ten of the most expensive mens' shoes from around the world. With absolutely nothing coming under the $500 mark (or "pocket change" as wearers of these may be heard remarking) we here at Bloke can guarantee lots of lookie, but no touchie under any circumstances.

Just three pairs of these and I could pay off my first degree.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My very sole

It just wouldn't be fair to ramble on for a week about what other folks fit on their feet without giving the beat from my seat.

To quell the summer heat (gotta get off this rhyming scheme), in splendid spite of sandals and Berks (which we'll get into later) I turned to the Benny.
First the Benny Breaker by Puma, a light weight canvas sneaker, that can be snagged at any reputable sports clothing store. Mine are actually the white invert of the above, with a splash of green wave on the side for colour.And second the even lighter weight Benny by Aldo, a classier looking leisure sneaker that comes in a variety of designs, varying from the above seen and owned harlequin pattern, to more.... abstract choices.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Feet Week

We're kicking off shoe week here at Bloke with a little help from our friends over at Sneaker Freaker Magazine and the remarkably designed New Balance A20.
New Balance takes a trip to the ol’ Wild West with their new Navajo-Indian inspired A20 boot. Perfect for the urban cowboy roaming Harajuku’s proddy prairies, this suede steed features embossed NB branding on the heel and tongue, leather heel tassels, chunky cross-stitching plus woven rainbow bands similar to the patterns found in traditional Navajo textiles.
Oh man... now I'm going to have Hollah Back Girl stuck in my head all day.

Anyway, enjoy poking around AF, they've got a simply fantastic array of new designs, and we'll be back with more tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today we doff our caps to the cherry on the top of any assembled ensemble, thanks to the good folks over at the Village Hat Shop, who are guaranteed to have the right fit for even the most swollen of heads. From western and derby to fedora and even top hat, the Village has styles and designs to fit all noggin's with modest-to-a-bit-steep-but-okay prices.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Older than dirt but twice the thread count

So you think you're the vintage king of your little corner of Bohemia? Let me tell you my friend, while you're wallowing in your 60's and 70's hand me down charm from your parents and grandparents, Defunkd is rocking the old school so hard, I could have sworn I saw Buddy Holly, Richy Valens and the Big Bopper shopping around for carry on luggage.

From classic trainers (back when they were used for, you know, sports) and Hawaiian shirts, to oddities you (I) never would have considered wearing, like the below featured 50+ year old prison jacket, plus a massive section of ebay-available t-shirts for the guys and gals, Defunkd delivers the unexpected.

"You bett'r not git shank holes in dem shirts boy" the imposing chain gang guard shouted, petting his shotgun and smelling oddly of his sister, "that there's haute couture"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

8 Bit and Well Fit

Think Geek achieves a new high score with these cutting edge graphic 8-bit ties, unlocking a bonus level of menswear and terrible tongue in cheek video game puns. Available in either classic red versus classic blue, they carry just enough geek cred meets design innovation that we can overlook the rather sad fact that they are, horror of horrors, clip ons.

Stylish Tie Looks just like what Mario wore to his high-school graduation.
Not available for purchase; clip on emo-hair.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What more can be said?

For anyone who's a little new to the fashion scene, I'd like to take the opportunity now to introduce you to who could easily be considered the ultimate style guru to ever grace these inter-nets. We at Bloke and Fashion Me Fabulous swear by him, as not only does his taste never falter, he always finds a way to track down the most incredibly dressed people, not on the catwalks of Europe, but the streets of everyday cities and towns (well, so long as you consider Paris and New York everyday cities)... and more, is ballsy enough to walk up to them and take a photograph.

Anyone who's picked up a copy of GQ will be familiar with Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist, and frankly, you should be too.

Check him out at both his blog and over at Style.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

He's the other man...

Thank god (Allah, Buddha, Jebus and the bartender) for the Atlantic delay. I speak of course of the perplexing month(s) long wait for anything published across the pond in jolly old England (those of you keeping score may have noticed a trend...), which must be shepherd over the big blue wet thing on a one man dingy powered by sheer will and a lazy current.

An Other Man's Spring and Summer style guide is finally here, and as I said, thanks for the delay, otherwise I would have completely missed out on snagging a copy. An Other Man, by the publishers of An Other and Dazed & Confused (excellent publications of repute) hits selves bi-annually with the designers collections, and rarely disappoints. Though I'd sooner turn to Dazed/Confused for articles and interviews, Another Man is essential for the Style Guide included with the issue (and how could you say anything bad about a magazine that follows up a near inch thick copy with a "free" guide, itself worth the price of admission?) that features the near-entire line of men's collections on only the twiggiest of male models.

Sadly, no matter how hard I wish upon the full spectrum of stars in the night sky, I can't find any of the images from the magazine online, aside from the cover... so here's my favorite design this year from Dolce and Gabbana instead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Report for Duty" really is a terrible pun

Colbert captures class even in combat.

Brooks Brothers’ Southwick factory in Haverhill outfitted Stephen Colbert with a custom-tailored camouflage suit for his USO tour of Iraq.

The clothing company made the suit using the Army’s “digicamo” material and the Madison style from the 1818 Collection.

“The suit has all of the finish details found in Brooks Brothers suiting, including a tan lining with the jacket sleeves lined in a cream and green-striped fabric,” the company said in a statement.

Now if only they'd design an evening flack jacket, maybe Dolce and Gabbana camo.

For wearing and watching

These ties have a hidden surprise.

Thanks to Paris over at our sister blog Fashion Me Fabulous for bringing to my attention Miss Feeney's Finery classic fedoras and deceptively exciting ties.
Secreted inside the liner of each necktie and fedora is a Kent Steine signature pinup girl. A partnership with Steine was a perfect fit for Miss Feeney's. Steine produces images in the classic pin-up style, with just the right amount of modern appeal. Miss Feeney's founder, Marie Shepard, says of Steine's work: "We were looking for an update of the classic Pinup Girl; bringing her into the 21st century while keeping all of her demure, war-era sensuality intact. Kent really gets it." Pinup ties were all the rage in the 1940s and 50s, and it is this trend that inspired the creation of Miss Feeney's Finery.

And on that note, I'm off to raid my grandfather's old clothing chest.

Friday, June 5, 2009

No school like the old school

I must admit, I've been looking forward to this article for quite some time, but was never sure just how to get the ball rolling. I first came across the site/community/magazine a few years ago through a '7 shades of Kevin Bacon' esq wander through wikipedia, beginning with Joey Ramone and ending with The Chap.

As they may have put it better in their "manifesto" than I ever could:
The Chap proposes to take a stand against this culture of vulgarity. We must show our children that the things worth fighting for are not the latest plastic plimsolls but a shiny pair of brogues. We must wean them off their alcopops and teach them how to mix martinis. Let the young not be ashamed of their flabby paunches, which they try to hide in their nylon tracksuits - we shall show them how a well-tailored suit can disguise the most ruined of bodies. Finally, let us capitalise on youth's love of peculiar argot Ð only replace their pidgin ghetto-speak with fruity bons mots and dry witticisms.
Launched in 1999, The Chap out of England is part sartorial satire and statement, mixing critical humour about the state of modern fashion (well, Chavs really) and youth with snappy style and Gatsbian sensibilities.

Sadly, the publication was recently threatened, like many during the recession, with having to neatly fold their Arrow collars and close up shop. Though they seem to be out of the woods now, for the most part, I urge you to hop on by the site and show your support (I'm sure they'd love monetary donations, but a little publicity probably helps just as well).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts

We'd simply be fooling ourselves if, in our quest to find every t-shirt anywhere, ever, we overlooked Threadless any longer... and we're only on the second article. The outstanding designs and amazing price(s) should be more than enough to rock your socks, but t-shirts so good they actually sell prints for your wall?

Damn indeed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Captain's Closet

With work nearly completed on a rather lengthy post I've been meaning to write for...oh wow, longer than I'm comfortable admitting, I'd like to take the lazier route today before finally tackling tomorrow and instead link you to a damn decent spread over at GQ this month starring New-Kirk Chris Pine and this year's line of summer suits.

Check out the moccasins by Banana Republic.
Brave lad there.

Monday, June 1, 2009


All I can really say is, thank you Etsy, for showing me that the impossible is not only real, but has a decent shipping and handling cost.

I'm not much for Steam Punk (aside from marveling at) or tailcoats, but it'd be a shame not to recognize the potential both offer.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Polo Party

Metro Pop celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fred Perry Polos (well, Fred Perry anyway) by embalming a male model, possibly in some vain hope of preserving his youthful good looks for the 200th anniversary.

Nice polos though.

And don't let the thrift in article size fool you, Metro Pop is always a welcome treat for the fashionably inclined, and I'm not just saying that because issue 41 is on newstands now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Etsy Shop: James Anthony Apparel

Shop: James Anthony Apparel

Specialty: Men's & Women's apparel feature unique illustrations

Check It Out Because:
These t-shirts move beyond typical graphic prints you can find at most stores for something different and eye catching.

Price Range: $16 to $42

More Info: James Anthony Apparel is being exhibited at Alphonse Berber Gallery in Berkley, CA.

Favorite Items: Death of Marat T-shirt $26; Princip T-shirt $26; HRH T-shirt $26 (pictured)

T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts

In what is the first of a daring new project to catalog every available t-shirt on Earth and online (a feat comparable to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro walking on your hands) today we offer you Teextile, who in partnership with American Apparel present and sell inventive t-designs on a "here you see it, soon you won't" platform. Designs are peer-created, voted on, then all orders are placed before the stock are created, making every shirt made a limited edition of sorts. Great for t-afficionados and artists alike.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bloke on JengaJam

Don't miss Bloke and Fashion Me Fabulous writers Mike and Jael Paris on The Late Night JengaJam tonight at 10:30 est, who will be talking fashion and style with the always suave Jack Jengaship, and Mike will be forced to walk a trail of embers for taking so damn long to update the page.

Also out

As well, pick up a copy of the latest issue of T-World: The Journal of T-Shirt Culture, out now. This bi-annual publication is jam packed, cover to cover, with the most innovative and brilliant t-designs found anywhere. If you can't find something to interest and excite there, then you're probably dead.

With time...

Be sure to check out this month's Palladium, including interviews with Frost/Nixon co-star Michael Sheen, artist Nicolas Bourriaud and singer Raphael Saadiq, with a full gallery for the Spring and Summer collection from all the big names.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Buttoned up and still cold"

The gods of the Canadian winter have finally arrived in the Atlantic capital city of Halifax, and though it's been said that you must suffer for fashion, who ever said it first probably didn't consider -25 below C, with a wind chill.

Suffer for Fashion - Of Montreal

And while the casual survivor wear would work a treat during the frigid months, they're damn boring to look at during an already bleak and gray time of year.

Also, they cost more than my Xbox 360.

Luckily a mall isn't really a mall if it doesn't have a proper shirt-and-tie mens wear store, the internet is boundless, and vintage (read: used) shops always have one or two (or if they're really sharp, many more) fine looking, winter wind resistant classy jackets that will leave you warm and styling, even as the world freezes around you.

(Hats optional)