Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Shoe Surplus








Regardless of what people may choose to believe, shoes are a very important part of any outfit. It doesn’t matter the season, temperature, or the time of day - your feet should always look just as sharp as you do.

I take shoes very seriously, and always have. I honestly have more pairs of shoes than I do clothing at the moment (that is a whole other entry), and it is great to know that I actually do have footwear options. Like everyone else, though, this “warmer” time of year calls for an overhaul, especially if sandals are a part of your spring/summer wear. You don’t want to look like a “D”. See previous entry for definition.

I am giving you 5 Spring and Summer footwear options. You do not need to purchase all 5, but I would recommend purchasing potentially 3. Dress, casual, and sandal. Let us proceed.

1. Boat Shoes (Photo #1)- A great alternative to the sneaker, but not so dressy you feel out of place, the “Boat Shoe” is a staple in this season’s wardrobe, and I feel like it will be sticking around for years to come. They are classic, and are definitely not new on the footwear scene. They have been updated with striking colors, prints, and detailing such as different laces or stitching. I am an advocate for these, and I am enthused to purchase a new pair for this Spring. I think they go from work to play, from day to night, from casual to dressy very easily. Great to travel with, because you literally can just bring one pair of shoes and have unlimited outfit options. I am a huge fan of #’s 3, 5, and 10 in the first photo. For me, I would choose a pair with an interesting color block, or maybe some color in the laces. Classic, but living on the edge a little more.

2. Toms (Photo #2) - Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge advocate for Toms shoes. Aside from how great the cause is (www.tomsshoes.com for more details), they are honestly one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear I have ever owned. They are lightweight, and now come in several different styles. The paid pictured in photo #2 are their Classic pair. A great slip on for shorts, cuffed pants, or a slim fit pant in the spring. THey come in every color of the rainbow, and every graphic print imaginable. Am inexpensive option, you could feel good about getting more than one pair. My favourite Toms are the Classics, Cordones, and Botas. I will be getting a new pair for Spring, and will probably go with the Cordones for a change. They are just so carefree, it makes me want to have an adventurous Summer. Get on it!

3. Oxfords (Photo #3) - To begin, I am still drooling at the Oxfords in the photo above. I need a pair. If anyone would like to purchase them for me, I would not say no. Anyways, moving on. Lace up Oxfords are a great look if you are more fashion forward, and want to make a statement this season. Paired with a cuffed short and tucked in shirt, you will be the only guy anyone is looking at it. Just as the Boat Shoe, Oxfords are making a huge resurgence after being out of the fashion scene for a while. Very comfortable, and definitely a shoe that can last you a lifetime if you buy a classic color and take good care of them. Obviously, I am intrigued with the more forward color choices of the Oxford’s in the above photo, but if bold color isn’t for you, go for a tan or grey tone, both very “now” colors. Everyone needs to dress up at least once over the Spring or Summer, so don’t be the “D” who wears shorts and flip flops to a wedding. Please.

4. Lace Ups (Photo #4 ) - Vans are one of my personal favourites as a casual shoe options, and I have been rocking this look for years and am still all over it. Lace ups are great for any season, so they are a good investment. For days when you are just hanging out, doing the beach thing, the shopping thing, or just going on general outings, a lace up will happily get you through an entire day. They look great with a straight leg pant, cuffed or otherwise, and will always be one of my top choices during short weather. Just as Toms, you can get them in any color of the rainbow, and even in prints. If you are a shoe enthusiast, owning a classic color and a more fun color will give you unlimited options. They are very well priced, and with my experience, are of fantastic quality.

5. Sandals (Photos #5) - Sandals are a tricky thing, and can easily make or break your outfit. If you are bumming at the beach, a pair of Old Navy flip flops will do the trick if you must. In all other situations, though, it is NOT feasible to wear a $2.99 pair of sandals with your outfit - Sorry. Right now, enclosed sandals for men are very popular (see Photo #6), as they look great, work for casual or dress, and basically match any style of trouser or half trouser (good one!), that you could wear over the Spring and Summer months. If purchased in a great camel color, or the always safe, black, you will be all set.

I enjoy a good flip flip just as much as anyone, and I rock them a lot during the summer. I am going to make a conscious effort to wear them less, and to be more fashionable even though I will be hot flashing for 4 months. Do not wear Hawaiian print flops. Do not wear Ed Hardy printed flops. You know what - do not wear any kind of print on your flip flop. I genuinely do not care that your foot goes on top of it. Every single time you lift your foot to take a step, someone will have the misfortune of being witness to that print. Stay classic with your sandals. Honestly, for men, sandals are a statement in themselves.

No matter what your budget, job, or climate, there are always fashionable, masculine options for your feet to keep you looking good. Comfort is a must during these seasons of leisure, so do not fully compromise that for a “look”. Always remember, that no matter what the season is, people still see your feet. Shoes ARE a part of your outfit, and if you look amazing up top, and like hell down closer to the ground, it basically cancels out all of the good outfit vibes. Get a few options, and keep them on hand for all of your Spring and Summer fun!

Any questions or recommendations? tmelong86@gmail.com . Don’t be shy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

V-Necks VS. D-Necks





I will begin this entry by saying that, respectfully, I have made up (unless it was used before this), the term “D-neck”. Of course, this is short for “Douche Neck”. You may like this, or you may think I am an idiot. It wouldn’t be the first time that I endured this fate.

I realize that my taste is different than others. As you can probably see by now, aside from the odd avante garde, I have lately been a fan of the classic indie look. The last 2 photos show a perfectly fine and dandy, classic V-neck. The first 2 photos are of overdone, unnecessary versions of D-necks.

I have been a fan of the V-neck before it was the hot new thing. I swear. I have never been big on being choked out by what I am wearing, so it was always my favourite option. I remember, as a kid, stretching out my crew necks. Maybe I was starting a trend as a 7 year old and didn’t even know it? Fantastic.

If you are going to wear a tee, a V-neck is a great, comfortable, and now very trendy option. Whether on it’s own, or under a button up or cardigan, try to keep it simple. Personally, I am a fan of a solid color. They will go with everything, always be in style, and will not phase out. Purchase 1 or 2 striped or printed options for when you want to change it up, but other than that keep it classic.

A V-neck should be in the shape of a “V”, clearly, and should be enough of a slope that it is noticeable. What bothers me most about the douche version, is that it really is a glorified version of a crew neck. They are made for people who don’t have the balls to wear a real V-neck, and even though they may laugh at our necklines, they are the ones that look like idiots. Let’s get real here. Do it - or don’t do it at all. Just wear a crew neck, and save me the trouble of assuming you are a bro. Don’t be a bro.


In photos 1 and 2, you see prime examples of what I have deemed a D-neck. Embroidered logos, metallics, and other various unnecessary tidbits turn a perfectly good shirt into a bad idea. I just think that tees are made to be simple, and should stay that way. Taking a trend like a V-neck and running with it is great, so don’t over do it with add ons. You really don’t need to, and will impress people more if you do not.

tmelong86@gmail.com - Send me a message if you have any requests or anything at all, really.

Thanks for reading, and keep stylin’!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Trend - Colored Denim




Lately, colored denim has been a huge trend for the ladies. Thankfully, it has merged over to men’s wear, and it is growing in popularity.

From bright neon hues, to a more subdued look, colored denim is going to be huge this spring for men, and I am really feeling it.

When something first hits the market, I never usually love it. This happens to me all of the time. People think I am harsh, but really I am just critical until I decide if I want to commit to liking a new trend. Trend-whoring is painful, and I hate when people do it. Like something before you love something, you know what I mean?

I just purchased my first pair of colored denims. They are a slim-skinny fit, and they are a dark maroon with a brown undertone. I am a fan. They look great with any color scheme, which is crucial. I didn’t want to dive right in and get canary yellow just yet. Maybe I never will. The right kind of person can pull of the neon denim, and I don’t know if it is me. I am tall, large, and I am mildly stimulating to look at without even trying to begin with. It may be overkill.

If you are going to wear colored denim, keep it simple.

Personally, I am definitely incorporating my current love for all things plaid with this trend. A plaid shirt with colored denims look great if they are in the same palette, or are neutrals. For example, my maroon jeans would look great with a black/grey plaid mix, or a brown. Something that has brights in it may look a little too loud for every day wear. Be careful not to over do it. If you look like you are trying to hard, it probably is because you are.

If you are going to wear neon colored denim (yellow, red, blue, green, etc), make sure to keep the corresponding outfit extra simple. Basic shoes, a t-shirt, and that is about it. A solid colored hoodie works with both looks as well if you need a little bit of outwear for mornings or evenings as well.

Where I live it is still quite cold. I am not on this yet, but when warmer weather comes, cuffing your colored denim is absolutely necessary! I love the look of a cuffed pant, and colored denim is no exception. Rock the cuffed look with some simple canvas shoes, a t-shirt or lightweight spring button up, and you are good to go! How easy. Depending on the weather, cuff up to 2 rolls, but never more. Don’t roll your pants up until you create shorts. Just buy shorts, please.

They are so “on trend” right now, you can find colored denim almost anywhere. Some affordable brands to look at for this right now are Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, and Joe Fresh. I am sure there are many more higher end options out there or fantastic quality, but in my opinion, if you are a man this trend is not going to be in forever. Don’t cash in your life savings and bring all of your old, classic denim to Good Will. It is a “look”, and as I have said before, less is more. I would say 1 - 3 pairs of colored denim is more than enough for an entire seasonal wardrobe.

Then again - I don’t know you though, and you aren’t me. Do as you will. All I can do is guide you in the right direction.

If you have any questions, or would ever like to contact me, feel free!

tmelong86@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!