Fielding questions right here. Fire away.
For further correspondence: aheadlongdive[at]gmail[dot]com
I notice that most of the denim you feature on your site is unwashed denim. Is there something special about the stiff and unwashed denim that I can’t get in buying the washed variety?
The conversation concerning the pros and cons of unwashed denim is deep and wide, but generally speaking the benefits of purchasing unwashed (also known as raw or sometimes dry) denim is being able to make each and every crease and fold your own. You can own denim that someone else washed and nicked up for you, but I personally prefer to do the breaking in myself.
Granted, it takes more than a little patience and buy in to fully break in a pair of raw jeans. But in my mind, the slow aging process… watching the denim age and grow with time worn… is both beautiful and enjoyable.
I have nothing against washed denim (I even own some) but usually find myself gravitate towards the raw/dry category, as I feel like I get to be more involved in the process.
What is your favorite thing in your closet right now?
Haha. Great question.
Tough to go against any of my Alden’s but I honestly might say the one thing I feel most connected/attached to is a pair of Clarks Wallabees I have owned for nearly 14 years. Though I don’t really break them out all that often anymore, I can’t ever imagine parting with them.
JS – Your posts are great! Funny you mention Wallabees. I have, maybe, four or five pair in different colors/textures, with the classic sand suede being my favorite. People love them or hate their look. Difficult to find a shoe more comfortable (Arrow moccasins a close second). Are there certain items you wear with your Wallabees to keep you connected and current with style?
I usually wear Wallabees and all desert boots in more casual settings. Not to say that they don’t look sharp with a crisp pair of trousers and a tie, I just typically default to my leather soled variety at the office.
When I do break them out, it is usually don’t require a great amount of thought, as they truly do match pretty much anything. Denim, chinos and the like all go well, so the best thing to do is simply not over think it.
I can’t get on board with the whole not wearing socks with dress shoes game. What do you do about stinking up your nice shoes? Also, doesn’t it get uncomfortable not wearing socks?
Haha. That sans socks movement just won’t go away will it? I actually remember a job interview I had almost 10 years ago in which the interviewer commented on me not wearing socks to the interview with my penny loafers. He seemed to see it as a sign of confidence and I suppose I do as well.
Make no mistake, there are a time and a place for socks (i.e. dead of winter)… but I enjoy the benefits of living in a tropical climate and take full advantage by going sockless for the good part of the year.
Concerning comfortability, actually, my feet have never had an issue with it being uncomfortable. In terms of sweat/stink, thankfully, I do not perspire to the point of creating an odor in my shoes. I also give each pair a day or more rest in between wear with cedar shoe trees inserted to help them maintain form. It actually does wonders for the scent as well.
If you aren’t sold on the sans socks idea and want to still show off some ankle cleavage, check out Mocc Sock & Co. (http://moccsocks.myshopify.com/) or hit up J. Crew (http://tinyurl.com/4mtjpx5) for some loafer socks that give you the sans sock look while keeping your feet covered.
Where does the name A Headlong Dive come from?
Just a simple phrase that faithfully describes my overarching view of how a man should not only dress himself but engage the world around him.
Men in our American culture are routinely taught to repress creativity and typically have very few outlets where they are free to express themselves, sartorially or otherwise. Often I find that men have learned to define masculinity as being stoic, drab and unimaginative. Not that there is anything wrong with being dutiful or subtle, but most men avoid taking risk, not only with their attire but with their lives.
I am a man who tries (with wisdom) to live differently and my hope is A Headlong Dive represents that not only in name but in its expression and content. In other words… take a risk, make a move, jump in… take A Headlong Dive.
New to the blog, and I love it! I thought I was the only one who felt that anxiousness and excitement of “pulling the trigger” on an item after long thoughtful consideration or on a impluse-buy. But, sometimes one has to just give in- even if that means your girlfriend makes fun of you for enjoying shopping more than she does!
Question: What are your thoughts on the Rouge wingtips from Banana Republic? What would you pair them with?
Thanks for the kind words on the site. Much appreciated.
Regarding the Banana Republic footwear, I gotta say after owning shoes produced by retailers like Banana Republic in my 20′s and now being fortunate to afford footwear of higher quality, there is a considerable difference.
The way I look at it, you could spend the $140 on the Banana Republic shoes and be moderately pleased with your purchase or you could parlay that $140 into a timeless pair that are superior in both aesthetic and function that you will want to keep for the rest of your days.
I have learned the hard way that it is much wiser to spend the extra money on quality, even if that means you sacrifice on quantity. In the long run, it is far more advantageous to own 3 pair of high-quality shoes than 10 bush-league pairs. Not to say Banana Republic shoes are wholly substandard, but when you compare them to finer crafted footwear (Alden, McNairy, etc.) there is no comparison.
If you are in a pinch and are in need of a pair sooner rather than later, you can even fine some fine footwear on eBay that are fresh out of the box for 1/2 the price. I have scored a few pair along the way for little to nothing.
If you are looking for some wingtips that you would be proud of won’t set you back a month’s rent, check out these…
Florsheim at Unionmade: http://tinyurl.com/29jb6mo http://tinyurl.com/47z59ev
Run of the Mill Loden Green action: http://tinyurl.com/4k3wshg
Grenson from Stel’s: http://tinyurl.com/6458xfz
Concerning what to wear with them… quite literally, anything.
Best of luck.
Thanks for the tips (pun intended)!
I took your advice and ordered the Florsheim Longwings in rust from the Florsheim webisite itself. I saved 20% using the coupon code LINK20 and there was free shipping on any order over $100!
Unfortunately, I’m a little worried about the sizing. I run anywhere from a 9.5-10.5 depending on the shoe, and the only size they had left was 10 and above. In Sperry’s I’m a 10 (Jcrew) and a 10.5. In Clark Desert boots I’m a 9.5, and in sneakers I wear a 10.5. So, we’ll see how the sizing works out! I appreciate all the advice! One day I’ll get the Aldens!
Looking forward to new posts.
All the best,
First off, really enjoy what you got going here and check in on a daily basis.
My question is, what is your favorite store/brand/designer? What leads you to buy/wear new brands?
Appreciate the positive feedback. You are welcome to check in as much as you like.
When it comes to stores, brands or designers, I would be hard pressed to give a favorite.
I would say that for the everyman category it is hard to beat out J. Crew on providing (somewhat) affordable staples to men at a large scale. It is hard to introduce the typical male to a high-end brand or a new designer, but J. Crew is pretty much everywhere and does a good job of even bringing in some of the higher-end/higher quality brands (Alden, Barbour) and lesser known brands (Hill-side, Billykirk) into their store space.
Concerning stores, check out my “Storehouses” section on the links portion of the homepage to see some of the places I enjoy and endorse. Brands/Designers I enjoy are too numerous to name here, but Gant Rugger and Billy Reid have yet to let me down and I believe Michael Bastian is brilliant.
What leads me to try out new brands? Brother, that is something I truly enjoy. To me few things are more enjoyable than noticing all the intricate details and experiencing how an item wears in over time. I enjoy how certain garments can take on a life of their own and truly be something much more than a shirt or pair of shoes to the wearer. All that plays into trying out a new designer.
But finally, let’s not overcomplicate things… if it looks good, give it a go to see what happens.
I really want to revamp my warbrobe but don’t have the money to go out a buy all new clothes. What are some ways a guy can begin to add some style to his wardrobe on a budget?
My advice would be to merge what you already have with a few key staples that can do double duty. Focus on getting your hands on quality and timeless items that you can then build your wardrobe around.
Pieces like a good pair of leather shoes, a pair of canvas sneakers, some dark denim, a white spread collar shirt, a quality leather belt, a couple of OCBD, couple of muted ties, a well fitting jacket, an understated watch and a slimmed down pair of chinos can be more than enough for any man week in, week out.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t all have to be high-end designer garments. Brands like Levi’s, Land’s End Canvas, L.L. Bean Signature, J. Crew and Dockers are all affordable and have sales you can take advantage of frequently. It’s important not to feel like you have to own it all right away. I would advise on focusing on quality, timeless pieces and slowly building around the classics. Just make sure it all fits you well and you can work them into what you already own.
Focus on slowly building your classics and you can add some liveliness with inexpensive accessories. A bandana pocket square, a pair of argyle socks, a grosgrain watch strap or even tie clip can be procured for minimum damage to the bank account but can pay big dividends to one’s personal aesthetic.
Finally, it is worth noting that style is not all in the clothes. Many times changing up your grooming routine can be a significant help to finding one’s own style. Maybe devote yourself to a new clean-cut hairstyle or decide to shave (or grow some stubble if you already shave daily). I often find my own style shines through when I pay attention not only to my garments but also my body.
Best of luck. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a man’s wardrobe.
Question for you. What knot do you go with when wearing a tie? Do you ever go for the unbuttoned collar and loosened tie look?
4 in hand and occasionally the single windsor.
Concerning sporting a tie with the top button of the shirt is unfastened… I can’t say that I’m fully against it, but I typically keep my buttons buttoned and my tie cinched.
Black dress shoes. Yes or no?
I was wonderin if you had a pair of the regular slim fit Docker D1s, and what your thoughts of them were. Please stop posting great stuff! You post, I buy, and Fiance gets mad at me! Haha!
So far, I’ve gotten the Florsheim Longwings in rust, a few pairs of Dockers (waders and slim fit), and a pair of Sebagos (1946 oxford) all inspired from your blog, and I’ve only been following a few weeks!
Haha. Glad you are seeing some things you enjoy enough to procure.
The Dockers that are currently in my rotation are 4 pairs of the Khaki Wader and 2 pair of SF Tapered. I’m around 5’11 and the waders fit me just how I like with little to no break at all. The SF Tapered seem to be similar in their design and fit, so I’ve been giving them some work here of late as well.
Tell your bride to be to take heart that at least you haven’t nabbed the Oak Street Bootmakers Camp Boots or the Alden Tassel Mocs.
Thanks for the kind words.
Hi, what would you suggest for a 17 year old male for clothes? I usually wear American Eagle polos with Bermuda shorts and converse or vans, and on nice days like to wear button downed striped shirts. I would like to enhance my clothes, but I don’t know wear to start.
Thank you very much for your input Jeremiah
Great question my friend.
At 17, I imagine it is difficult to find the $$$ to truly overhaul your wardrobe. But it sounds like you don’t necessarily need to, as Polo shirts, Button-up shirts, Converse, Vans and Bermuda type shorts are all great pieces to have in one’s repertoire.
What I might suggest is having a few classic items that fit well to pair with what you are already wearing. A well fitting white or blue OCBD can really be a great staple that can give you many wears, while one pair of quality dress shoes can speak volumes for a young man’s sense of style. Also, great dry denim, while it might cost a little more up front, makes sense for the number of wears one gets for price.
17 is a great age to consider taking a step away from the American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch type brands (not hating… I worked at A&F when I was your age). Taking a step forward into more adult clothing could be a great experience for you to begin to find your own voice in menswear. Not that you have to rid yourself of such gear, but I imagine most young men that surround you all purchase their clothes from similar retailers and it could benefit you immensely to stand out from the crowd.
Another way you can set yourself apart from your counterparts would be to steer clear of fads and maintain a clean classic aesthetic that will always make you look a cut above the rest. I would also probably stay away from any clothes that have a logo larger than a quarter.
Take full advantage of sales and eBay to get your staples and don’t waste a lot of your money on pieces that aren’t practical and return many wears per dollar spent.
Finally, being a stylish man is not simply owning a lot of cool clothes. Style is expressing yourself through your garments, gear and overall personal aesthetic and having the cojones to risk to expose that personal truth to those around you.
Great Blog. Who do you think is more fashionable, you or your wife? Its a question that many at Lake Brantley have. And feel free to support your claim with factual evidence.
Haha. Vita, hands down.
My legs are far too large to fit into the slimmer fitting khakis and denim that are all over menswear right now. What would you recommend for a fella with thick tree trunks like myself?
The overly slim fitting style can be very limiting to my friends with thick thighs like yourself.
If you aren’t already a fan of the Levi’s 501, go now and procure a pair. If you are looking to get your hands on some other denim, check out the Tellason + ACL collaboration (made for the man tree truck legs) as well: http://tinyurl.com/6jm43xu
For chinos and other pants, most brands still carry a classic or relaxed fit that should give you plenty of options. http://tinyurl.com/4b5gdy2
And if you aren’t reading Thighs Bigger Than Your Head… do so: http://thighsbiggerthanyourhead.blogspot.com/
Loving the site but no style blog every talks about what a guy should wear to workout.
How does a guy look in style while going to the gym? It seems like most sporting goods are either baggy or ugly and I can’t get on board with anything Nike or Adidas.
Thoughts on workout wear?
Haha. Now that is a great question.
Though I can’t say I am fully against all the Nike and Adidas brings to the table regarding workout wear, I understand wanting other options.
For running shoes, the main thing I recommend is making sure you keep them clean. Once they get old and dirty, throw ‘em out and buy a new pair. They are relatively inexpensive, so there is no need to wear old running shoes. I am an Asics man through and throug and am currently running in the Gel-1160′s and really enjoy them: http://tinyurl.com/4jbzvlc
Regarding shirts and shorts, I know plenty of folks who go all out in their gear with Nike Dry-FIT everything or Under Armour fitted t-shirts. If that gets you in the gym, good for you. I personally have a few logoless t-shirts and terry sweat shorts from Vince that do the trick for me. Ultimately, wear what makes you comfortable and avoid anything obnoxious or that literally smells.
Gym wear don’ts include pants or shirts with stains or holes or rips (just throw it away)… Old fraternity shirts (once you graduate, retire your Pike shirt)… Sleeveless t-shirts (come on, that is a gimme)… Bandanas (only on the tennis court… and even then)… Any shirt that has someone lifting weights on it (http://tinyurl.com/6h8xcsd)… Or anything the Jersey Shore folks wear.
Do you get most of your clothing from stores or from online? If online, what do you do about trying things on?
Fortunately I live in a city that has some pretty good brick and mortar options, but I do often find myself doing much of my purchasing via the internet.
Most brands I opt for, I already own pieces from, so I already know my sizing… but if you are experimenting with a new designer, just make sure you are procuring it from a reputable site that offers a return policy and you should be fine other than having to eat the shipping cost. That is often a small price to pay for some of the online deals one can often find out there.
I am sure you can take an educated guess for your fit on most items, but if you are out to get something you aren’t quite sure of… see if the site offers a fit guide… if not check and see if there is any information on one of the many style forums that give any info on the fit.
Great site! I check it out all the time and love the content and your recommendations.
What is your thoughts on a man wearing jewelry? Do you ever wear bracelets, rings or necklaces?
Can’t say that I am big on men and jewelry. To me jewelry on a man can easily scream, “I’m trying really hard!” Some folks can pull it off and not seem too disingenuous but I am not of that bloodline.
For me, a watch and wedding ring (and the very occasional maritime bracelet) is about as far as I go.
I was wondering if there was a secret to keeping ones shirt tucked in. I’ve been looking around and I’ve been considering getting the military shirt stays (http://www.amazon.com/Style-Uniform-Shirt-Stays-PK/dp/B000RZJF3G), but they seem as if they would be uncomfortable to wear all day long, especially while sitting. I’ve heard of tucking in a shirt into the underwear, but that doesn’t sound like a good idea either. When seated, if not careful, the underwear will stick out and everyone will see that there’s a shirt tucked in them! Any good tips?
Great question my friend. Depending on the cut and fit of the shirt or what you plan on doing in it while having it tucked in, the answer will vary.
Not only have many brands slimmed the body of their shirts, they have also shortened their lengths. Pair that with the trend of most pants sitting below the waist, you have yourself an perfect storm of untucked action. Depending on your body frame or how much you move and shake, this can lead to your shirt becoming untucked throughout the day.
I wouldn’t opt for the shirt stays, as I imagine they would seem cumbersome day in, day out. Concerning the underwear tuck, that probably wouldn’t yield any real results other than showing off your Calvin’s.
Make sure both your shirts and pants fit properly, as a shirt too billowy will find its way bunching up and a shirt too small won’t have the length you need to stay tucked. Furthermore, pants too large will not hug your waist close enough, thus leading your shirt to slide out.
If you are already doing all you can on the fit front, I might opt making sure the brands you purchase make long enough shirts to stay tucked. Brooks Bros and Billy Reid have never given me the becoming untucked problem but I typically can’t wear Band of Outsiders because their shirts are simply too short for my body frame.
Pants that sit a little higher on your hips might also help give you a little more room to work with. This might mean you have to spend a little more on getting them slimmed at the leg from the tailor (as many slimmer fitting pants sit low on the waist) but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Check out Levi’s 501′s in denim and Save Khaki or Dockers classic fit for chinos.
Lastly, you could just opt to embrace the untucked look on the shirts that don’t work tucked and use them for more casual settings.
hello. i was doing some searches on the J.W. Hulme Co. Oxford Field Briefcase and stumbled upon your blog. i have a brand new bag that is identical to the one you have, which i received as a prize from another lifestyle blog. i have a ton of bags and would love to get this in the hands of someone who would use it more than i would. if you could point me in the direction of someone who would like to purchase this bag from me at heavy discount, please advise. thank you.
Your best bet is probably e-Bay or Style Forum.
Just as a suggestion, include a screenshot from the video that links to the post so people know to click the photo to see the video. This email is a little confusing as all it has is a shortened link and one word. Just a suggestion.
Not sure how to do that for the e-mail subscriber format but I’ll look into it.
First of all, I just want to say that I follow your blog religiously and definitely am a fan of your style. On the note of religion though, I was interested (not to get too personal) in what it is you do. I saw on your gravatar profile that you have a masters of divinity. I’m currently majoring in religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia (we’re one of the two all male colleges in the U.S. – I’m really trying to pioneer men’s fashion here). I’m planning on going to seminary though and hoping to teach college-level religion. What I’m wondering is how you felt about getting your Masters of Divinity and if you’re putting it to use.
All the best,
Indeed I do have an M.Div. I really enjoyed my time in grad school. I tend to be someone who likes to have his hands in many things at once and also have a Master of Arts in Counseling that it more aligned with what I do vocationally, as I am a Psychotherapist.
I do some speaking and teaching occasionally in which I draw on many lesson learned from my M.Div days and believe that an education… no matter what degree attained… is never wasted.
Be well and thanks for reading.
What are your thoughts on flip flops and sandals? Got any you would recommend?
Flip flops and sandals are not pure evil as most menswear folks pontificate. I own a few pairs of flip flops that get work at the beach and poolside.
But trust me, no one wants to see a man’s toes out in public so make sure to wear your sandals in appropriate ways. If you are looking for some warm weather footwear, opt for a breathable boat shoe or a penny or tassel loafer where you go sans socks.
Concerning flip flop recommendations… Keep it simple: http://tinyurl.com/4ee8jwy
As the weather begins to warm, I hate wearing my jacket/blazer, as it makes me far too warm. What do you do regarding wearing a jacket in the spring and summer? Do you opt to go without or do you sweat it out?
Linen my friend… linen.
Glad to see you went with the Alden Beefroll Loafers. How are they on your feet? Mine are tearing my skin to shreds. Wore them a about a week with socks as a break-in period before I went sockless and that did not work at all. And I know the fit is right because I was fit by an Alden rep. Was wondering if you have any suggestions before I get the sandpaper after the offending spots.
They seem to be a little stiff here at the beginning and I would have a tough go if I did a ton of sans socks walking in them right now. As with most loafers, they are going to require some period of break in before I can wear them about town without paying a painful price.
Though I’m sure the Alden rep did a fine job helping you find the proper size, it sounds like they are quite tight. If they are still new, the leather should begin to give shortly. Remember, you don’t want them to fit so tight that there is no give or movement whatsoever. I would recommend wearing them around the house to help the leather continue to mold to your feet. If that is too difficult, slip on a pair of socks as you do so to help ease the discomfort.
If it continues to be an issue, you could always try some over the counter shoe stretch options http://tinyurl.com/3l8lyko or http://tinyurl.com/3uz6m2h but I might recommend taking them to a cobbler to have a professional give them a look.
If you want to ride it out, give a look to Dr. Scholl’s Anti-Frition options: http://tinyurl.com/4xgclb2 to keep the friction to a minimum.
Best of luck!
If you were going to recommend a pair of jeans, which would you choose?
Depends on what you are looking for…
For raw… Rogue Territory Stanton: http://tinyurl.com/3uljdx4 or Tellason: http://tinyurl.com/3fhcj4k
For washed… Baldwin Reed: http://tinyurl.com/3bx8gf5
For white… Imogene + Willie Barton: http://tinyurl.com/4xyx4d4
For inexpensive… Levi’s 501: http://tinyurl.com/4x2ypqw
For really slim… A.P.C. New Cure: http://tinyurl.com/3hu62q6
What type of belts do you go with when you are wearing more casual clothing?
Any kind really. When it comes to casual wear, you have a lot of leeway regarding what is suitable.
Maybe try a ribbon or madras belt to add some color to your attire: http://tinyurl.com/3arx8fr
If the prep look isn’t your thing, try out a military inspired canvas belt: http://tinyurl.com/3ctm37a
If your looking for leather, can’t loose with the hoofpick: http://tinyurl.com/3kbhevm
Go get ‘em!
Great blog. Love the content and think you are a terrific writer.
My question is, what do you do regarding skin care supplies? Is there a brand you use or place online you recommend?
Glad you enjoy the blog.
Though there are many options for men’s moisturizers, even from your local drug store, I opt for Kiehl’s. It’s not necessarily inexpensive, but it doesn’t feel greasy, doesn’t smell strange and works well.
I use the Facial Fuel with SPF 15 on my face in the mornings (http://tinyurl.com/42tqddn) and the Anti-Wrinkle Facial Fuel at night (http://tinyurl.com/3hvpq8w).
Other options I’ve heard are worth trying but I have no personal experience with are Zirh, Jack Black and The Motley.
Who do you look to as a fashion icon? Your “hero of style” so to speak?
Glenn O’Brien http://vimeo.com/23563557
What’s the biggest fashion mistake you have ever made?
Probably my class picture from the 5th grade when I rocked a neon green shirt with a pair of blue jogging pants, a gold necklace and a mini-mullet. But come on, I was 11.
In recent years… bootcut Diesel jeans.
What is your take on Keil James Patrick Bracelets. I really like the repp series- https://kieljamespatrick.com/product.cfm?pRef=596 but I’m not sure I can pull it off. If you do like them, is it best to wear one on the same wrist as a watch, with another bracelet or two…
Thanks and keep up the good work.
I am not a big bracelet guy. I don’t have any particular reason for my own personal bracelet ban but they just don’t seem to work for me. I often feel that wearing more than a watch often looks too ostentatious for my own personal aesthetic but that is entirely a personal preference. I often see other folks pull off the man cuff well. Some of the shots coming out of Pitti really have a lot of bracelet action that looks superb.
That being said, the Kiel James Patrick stuff does seem enticing. When I do rarely wear a wristlet it is usually a maritime inspired one similar to the KJP action. I also like Miansai (http://tinyurl.com/63szbq2) and Billykirk (http://tinyurl.com/5vnf6qk) cuff stuff and J. Crew always has some compelling and inexpensive options (http://tinyurl.com/6548okr).
When it comes to which wrist you wear them on, that is all preference my man. Personally, I mix it up and don’t have a way could fully endorse. If it is only one or two lighter cuffs, I would probably wear them on the same arm as my watch. If I was really going to lay ‘em on thick, I think I might opt for keeping my watch on one arm and my bracelets on the other.
Would love to see a post on your selection of sunglasses. I live in NYC, and I think everyone owns a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. It’s gotten to a point where I can’t bring myself to put them on my face anymore- even though I’ve owned mine for a long time. I’m considering the Clubmasters, but those were just endorsed by GQ! Also, what is your take on cheap knockoffs? To me, I don’t like them, not because they’re fake, but because the quality just doesn’t match up to well made pairs of shades. Thanks!
Off the cuff, I’d recommend Persol for tortoiseshell (love the Steve McQueen special edition with the blue lenses: http://tinyurl.com/3dvwcpd) and Randolph Engineering for wire frame. I also have a good friend who has a pair of American Optical that I really love as well.
And I’m with you on passing on the cheap knockoffs. People often say they don’t want to spend the money on something they might sit on or leave somewhere. That logic makes no sense to me. Just be more responsible. I don’t wear cheap shirts because I’m afraid I might spill something on it.
Most folks will wear their shades everyday so one’s wear per cost ratio makes it worth spending a little more on a quality pair of sunglasses you are proud to sport on most occasions.
I’ll get to work on a sunglasses “Assemblage” post.
Great site you have here!
Question for you: Should all of the metal I wear on a daily basis (watch, ring, belt buckle) be of the same color?
In a perfect world, yes, your metal should match. But in reality, the more formal the occasion the more necessary it is for your metal to match. Thus in the everyday of life is it important that your wedding ring to be the same color as your belt buckle? Not necessarily.
For me, I usually go with sterling silver when I have a choice on metal (watch, belt, shoe strap, etc). Does that mean I don’t occasionally break out a brass belt buckle? Not at all. But the more stately the situation the more I prefer my metal to be of the same family.
J, the shots of your snuff suede Alden loafers made me order a pair. Did you use anything to protect them?
My apologies for the late reply, as I somehow missed this comment.
Glad you went for the Snuff Suede, as I’m sure if you aren’t already wearing and loving them you will soon.
I didn’t opt to put any kind of protectant on them, as part of the joy of having the suede for me is the way it ages beautifully over time. I actually think they will look much better after they get some bumps, bites and bruises along the way.
Just make sure you don’t get them too wet from getting caught in a rainstorm or stepping in puddles and you should be perfect.
I’m on the lookout for some nice wool trousers, possibly in a flannel or tweed, that are not quite as refined as true dress pants. Something you could dress up with a blazer and some nice shoes, or run more casually with a pair of boots and a sweater. Any suggestions for a likely provider, particularly in the “reasonable” price range?
Thanks for all the tips, photos, and links. I discovered Unionmade out here in SF because of you and I just picked up a pair of Tellasons and a couple of Hill-Side pocket squares. Nice work!
Glad to hear you are discovering some great items made by the likes of Tellason and Hill-Side. If you are located in San Fran, the Common (http://thecommonsf.com/) is one of my all time favorite places. Great gear and great people.
For wool trousers that are “reasonable”, there are many ways to go, but here are a few options…
Uniqlo are as budget as I would go (http://tinyurl.com/3syzpzx) but you will need to give them a call to place an order as they don’t currently have an online shop up and running (877.4.UNIQLO)
J. Crew’s Bowey (http://tinyurl.com/35lqs74) are a great pant and while they are not by any means inexpensive, they are a quality pant for a decent price.
Bonobos has a great selection (http://tinyurl.com/3qg6hk5) and can often be obtained for less than asking price (http://tinyurl.com/3oh3f7o).
Incotex makes a great trouser but can be difficult to find a times but eBay and Yoox (http://tinyurl.com/3g5dba3) often has a decent selection for a decent price.
Thanks! I also discovered Epaulet through your site and they have some new offerings that look promising:
A charcoal flannel (http://www.epauletshop.com/servlet/the-447/%27Slim-Walt–Trouser/Detail)
Or this one, in lambswool (http://www.epauletshop.com/servlet/the-1108/Slim-Walt-Trouser-Navy/Detail)
It’s easier for me to think about clothes like this living in SF. We’re in the middle of fog season while the rest of the country sweats.
Hey! We tried to get ahold of your email but guess this is the contact page. We at fashionstealer.com really like your blog. We were thinking that maybe we could do some collabs or exchange links at least, we feel like we’re into the same business. Dressing really nice. We’re also denim-heads! Hit us back!
Thanks for getting in touch. Great stuff you have going at Fashion Stealer.
Correspondence info for AHD is email@example.com
Be well and keep up the good work!
So, I know that personal style is all about preference, personal taste, functionality, and whatever makes one look and feel good. With that said, I bought a pair of Sebago 1946 boots last year. http://oakleafandacorn.blogspot.com/2010/10/sebago-1946-boots.html
My fiancé calls them “clown shoes” because of the red laces. I happen to like the little bit of flare that the laces add. Certainly, I could change the laces to the standard marble or yellow looking laces, but why do so? She has said it me enough that I’m kind of going through a funk with these shoes, and starting to second guess myself. The shoes are still a part of my rotation but now I think of them as “clown shoes.” What are your honest thoughts on these. I provided the link above. I own the low cut boots pictured in the middle. Thanks a lot!
Honestly don’t see anything clown with those shoes my friend. They actually seem more workman like than court jester.
I would stick with the red laces, as it sets them apart from other brown or wheat colored shoes with normal laces I’m sure you already own. Why not have a pair that makes a bolder statement?
There is indeed a time and a place for the colored laces look. I would say as long as you aren’t wearing them to a formal event like a wedding or during a time you should go with a more traditional look, like a job interview, roll with the red.
And if your bride to be continues with the clown comments, agree and remind her that your sense of humor and ability to make her laugh one of the many things she loves about you.
I always appreciate your insight and advice. Now, that I’ve reestablished my confidence in those Sebagos, I have general yearning for a new pair of black shoes. I can’t seem to find inspiration anywhere. I’ll give you an idea of the type of footwear I own. I pretty much own the standard blogosphere footwear: Clark desert boots in brown leather, grey suede, and oakwood suede; half a dozen pairs of Sperry’s, two pairs of Redwing boots, a pair of Florsheim longwings (your recommendation from like a year ago), Sebagos, Bass Bucks, and a few pairs of New Balance from j crew. The one black pair of shoes I own are like a pair of rockports from years ago. Ever since then, I’ve built up my arsenal in everything but black shoes. I’m not looking for another pair of wingtips or longings, but maybe an affordable pair of oxfords. I’m not into slim shoes, as my feet are a little on the wider side. Can you make a post on black shoes exclusively? And as a side, side note. What are your thoughts on saddle shoes?
Thanks a lot!
Sorry my man but I just don’t do black shoes. In my mind, black shoes are either for wearing with a tuxedo or to a funeral. I only own one pair (short wings) and they get work so sparingly that they rarely see the light of day.
Regarding saddle shoes… co-sign, but I’d probably be breaking them out more in the S/S than A/W.
Maybe I should adopt your policy on black shoes, and that would solve my problem- but what do you pair black pants with? I usually go with grey suede or beige suede brogues.
Same “sans black” policy with pants, jackets, shirts, etc.
do you have a wife named vita? because i think she might be my history teacher..
Indeed I do Sambo. Listen up in class, as she is as good as they get.
Just saw your A Few Things list on ShinySquirrel and immediately thought we should be friends.
Arrested Development, Concords, Persol, and Bo Knows Tecmo! seriously? What a list man. Your site is incredible and excited to follow along.
All the best.
Thanks for reaching out. I am certainly not alone in my wide range of idiosyncrasies.
I look forward to keeping track via twitter my friend.
I am currently looking for Prom tuxedos/suits and I’m finding it quite difficult to find something unique. Now, my date is going in this extraordinary black lace gown that I find simply exquisite, and I refuse to let her up show me to such a great extent. Would you have any suggestions for a fellow that is searching for a tuxedo/suit that is fairly unique, but still reasonable?
Love your writing, great advice!
Ahh prom. Good times my friend.
Most young gents get caught up a serious sartorial solecism when selecting the tuxedo. Certainly you are seeking to look your best and 99% of the time that means renting your formal wear. Real talk, renting your tux sucks. Most places that are available have shit for renting options, so be warned. That being said, you can still best the other gents. Just don’t get caught in the same matching your date mistakes and don’t over think it.
Remember, a man isn’t suppose to stand out like their female counterparts in formal settings. Here are some helpful guidelines to consider…
Take a page out of guys like Clooney and Pitt at award events and just go for the classic black tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and black bow tie (not a clip on, a real bow tie. If you don’t know how to tie one, get a cheap one now and start practicing.) Don’t use the shitty bling buttons for the shirt, but opt for a classic pair of silver cufflinks.
You in all likelihood won’t be able to rent a Tom Ford tux, so remember, fit will be KING. Try on the one’s they have and look for one that fits you well and doesn’t bulk up around the shoulders and has little padding. If you don’t know your size and are being fitted, don’t let them fuck you by selling you a size too large and pants too long. MAKE SURE they understand you want it to fit slim and you want to show some cuff and have little to no break in the trousers. That alone will make you stand out from the crowd with guys looking like they are wearing their father’s jacket and walking on their pant cuffs. If you can get 2 inch cuffs on the trousers, do it and for the jacket, opt for whatever lapel you prefer (peak, notched, shawl).
Don’t get a tie, cummerbund or vest that matches your date’s dress (actually, don’t get a cummerbund at all). Match with a tasteful lapel flower. Don’t match her dress with a plain, single colored handkerchief either, but you can add some color to your attire with a silk kerchief that brings out the colors in her dress. Be inspired by Drake’s of London’s kerchiefs but if all else fails, go with the clean white.
Grooming will be more important than you think as well. If you don’t typically shave clean, prom’s a great time to change it up and do so. Wear your hair as normal and don’t get it cut right before prom but a week or so before. Although, if you want to get a grown ass man’s hair cut and rock the side part now so it will look good then, I’d advice it (depending on how you currently wear your hair).
Simply put… keep it classic. Google images of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin for the definition of “classic.” Let her look exquisite and let her show you up. You want to look stunningly simple, elegant and understated.
That reply rocks huge. It should be required reading for every young man.
To start, I fellow your blog almost religiously, feeling the need to check in every time I go shopping, every time. However, I’m currently in the search for a new backpack, or something to fill the role thereof. Any suggestions?
While your at it, any suggestions for a new wallet? Something simple, yet functional, and of course, unique and stylish.
I apologize, my grammar is atrocious!
Not sure what type of backpack you are in the market for but you should check out Makr Carry Goods for both the pack and the wallet: http://makr.com/
If that isn’t your speed, I really like the Beams+ Kelty (http://tinyurl.com/7t9m69q) and for something more ostentatious, the Camo Topo Backpack (http://tinyurl.com/7p2xsfv)
For something on the budget side of things, I’d opt for the Fjallraven (http://tinyurl.com/6u58ekp)
If you are willing to branch out to the briefcase type bag, I carry a Filson 210 in tan (http://tinyurl.com/7nvqxf6) and a J.W. Hulme Field Messenger (http://tinyurl.com/6vnwr4h) and enjoy them both.
And no worries on the grammar my friend.
Best of luck on the pack hunt.
I love your blog. It’s so insightful and we have very similar styles. That being said, I am in Orlando till the end of the week and was wondering if you could point me in the direction of any great men’s shops. I’m from Atlanta and spend time at Sid Mashburn almost every week, to just give you an idea of what I am looking for. Thanks for the advice.
Thanks for reaching out. You truly are a lucky man to live in such proximity to Sid Mashburn. Concerning menswear shops here in Orlando, alas I don’t have anything that could compare.
I have desired a quality shop to open here for some time now and in the past have even kicked around the idea of opening one myself but for now I don’t have much to recommend.
The few things I would tell you to check out would be Park Ave. and New England. While there isn’t tons of menswear options there, it is my part of town and has some really great food and drink options and is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Makr’s Studio is on Hannibal and New England and while they don’t necessarily sell items out of the store, they will often make exceptions for folks who are traveling through the area. Rifle Paper is a great store for paper goods, just off New England as well.
For shirt, pants, etc. The only real option would be to scour the many outlets which do actually have some pretty good options (Faconnable, Thomas Pink, Vince, etc.) and a few large chain stores (Saks, Neiman Marcus) that often carry some great brands at a fraction of the cost (Michael Bastian, Brunello Cucinelli, Gant Rugger, Gitman Vintage, etc.). While I absolutely hate doing it, sometimes the deals you can find can actually be worth it if you don’t mind fighting the crowds and all the horrors that come with things like outlet malls. If you are down on that part of town, here is the link: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=96
Finally, the only other option would be the stuff you already have in ATL (J. Crew, Bloomingdales, etc) at Millenia: http://www.mallatmillenia.com/
Best of luck my friend!
Thank you for your response and recommendations. I do feel very blessed to have Sid’s in such close proximity. If you have never had a chance to visit the store, I would highly recommend doing so. I would love to have my own men’s shop as well and escape the accounting world to do something I am very passionate about.
I have been looking for a good part of town to grab some great food and drinks for a while. I travel here pretty frequently for work and usually stay for a week at a time. I am going to try and check out New England and Park Ave. tonight.
Also I have a Makr wallet, which is my favorite leather good by far. I have carried it for over two years and it still holds its original shape. In my opinion, it looks better than when it was gifted to me. I keep waiting for it to wear out so I can purchase another one, but it just won’t quit. I know you interact with the team over at Makr frequently so please pass along my praise.
Hello, my friend. Question for you:
What’s your strongest recommendation on a tie to go with white shirt and black suit. I KNOW. Black is only for Darth Vader, Batman, and Johnny Cash. But this is for a wedding. I KNOW. A suit in midnight blue or grey is still a better option than black when headed to a wedding. But I’m OFFICIATING the wedding.
And I want an excuse to get a new tie. What’s bold, but also not gonna take away from the lady in white?
miss you terribly. time to head to LA
Nice to hear from you my friend.
Wedding attire can often be tricky but officiating a wedding does come with a different set of stylistic instructions. I know you are just asking about the tie, but let us at least consider some alternatives to the black suit… after all it is a wedding and not a funeral.
Some things we need to consider out of the gate… Is this wedding where you are in Los Angeles? When is it/What time of year? Is it inside or outside? Morning, afternoon or night?
Basic rules would be that if it is a spring/summer affair, that opens up the playbook for you regarding cotton/linen blend suits and even seersucker. If is is outside in the daytime that also further requires you to dress accordingly, as you better bet your sweet ass you aren’t standing outside in the middle of a hot day, in the summer wearing a heavy black suit.
As the officiator you are right in not wanting to upstage the wedding party in your apparel. That however doesn’t mean you are forced into a corner in wearing a black suit. In my opinion (unless the bridal party requested you be in black) grey or navy would convey the message you want and be formal enough as well. If it is spring/summer, a wheat coloration (aka light brown) in something like the J. Crew Ludlow would be choice: http://tinyurl.com/7za9uox
Also in Linen (http://tinyurl.com/89d49da) or seersucker (http://tinyurl.com/7dpjn56). Why not use this as a great chance to add a quality suit to your wardrobe that you would want to wear on your own, even as separate pieces.
But enough about the suit… you ask about the tie and tie recommendations I shall give…
For more formal, nothing (and I mean nothing) is better than a tie from Drake’s of London. While their knit ties are a thing of beauty, I’d opt for a raw silk one… http://tinyurl.com/6p9amce or http://tinyurl.com/6ts2zc3
Sid Mashburn is always in play for raw silk, knits and everything in between: http://tinyurl.com/7l49hrd
If you want to go more laid back, I’d opt for something like the chambray selvedge tie from Hill-side: http://tinyurl.com/6vs3qem
If you are looking for something a little more affordable… look no further than http://theknottery.com/
And don’t forget the pocket square… preferable silk (and don’t match it to your tie).
You know I love you, so don’t let my harsh sartorial words drive a wedge between us, haha. And yes, before our pregnant wives become very pregnant, I need to get my ass to LA. End of March/Early April?
I bought a black robe for formal weddings. Black suits are for funerals.
Good call. I’m gonna email them today for permission to wear some sort of wheat coloration. I’d love an excuse to buy a new suit. Come to think of it, I love finding excuses to buy all sorts of things. Thanks for the thorough and helpful reply.
And yes, I’d love for you visit us late march or early april or tomorrow or really any time you want! Just get your ass out here from some bromance.
Suit Supply. Yes or no? Why?
Also, do I read right that you wear brown shoes with grey suits? Or just no grey suits?
The Andrew Breitbart thing (grey jacket with jeans)…cool or an abomination? I ended up sporting that look by accident on a day I went to the office with jeans and a white untucked button down. A cold front blew in and I threw on the grey jacket and tucked in the shirt. I tried it once more, but this time added black dress shoes (which I know you don’t do).
Been following your posts for a couple of months.
Don’t have any first hand knowledge of Suit Supply but I like what I see thus far. Seems like reasonable prices and some pretty good stuff.
Absolutely wear brown shoes with grey trousers and suits. Not to climb back up on my bashing black soapbox but brown looks better with every single color trousers you can find except black (which again, you shouldn’t be wearing). Truth be told, to each his own but I’ve never seen black outdo brown (tuxedos and ninja attire aside).
Regarding grey jackets + denim, I think they can easily work together as long as they are contrasting enough in coloration and the fit is on point. No sports jacket looks great paired with pants that are too close to the same color (unless of course it is a suit and identical). As grey jackets go, they can often look like you are pushing the suit separate thing a little too far, unless it is a relatively laid-back sports jacket made to wear on its own. And if you are doing the suit separate gig and it has pinstripes, only wear it with the adjoining pinstriped pants.
And do yourself a favor and retire those black shoes, haha.
In all seriousness though, glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the blog.
I’m looking for some natural chromexcel shoes. Specifically the quoddy maliseet Oxford or the oak st bookmakers trail Oxford. In that sexy natty cxl. What do you think?
If you are in the market for penny loafers, can’t beat the OSB’s (http://wp.me/pXXtj-Om). They also make their boat shoe in Natural CXL, if that is more your shoe speed.
Other options include the above mentioned Quoddy (http://tinyurl.com/6pmafwc), Epaulet’s Natural Cumberland Camp (http://tinyurl.com/d52squz) or cough up some extra coin for Yuketen’s natural Angler Moccasin (http://tinyurl.com/887q92u)
Of course, Alden has plenty of Natural CXL options and I love the Natural Indy Shoe (http://tinyurl.com/8xejct8) but unless you are ready to fork over close to $500 or rummage through eBay with feeble hopes for finding your size and style, you might be out of luck on that option as Alden “sales” don’t exist.
Could you please tell me where to get the watchbands you featured a couple of weeks ago? I want to order several for my son, to fit his Movado dress watch. I believe the ones I saw were the sleeker, slim, colorful striped grosgrain look. Thank you so much!
Head over to The Knottery: http://theknottery.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=92%20and%20mark%20as%20SSL
1. My Jack Purcell’s have lasted for years, but, alas, they’re nearing the end. Can you throw out a few suggestions for casual sneakers? Should I just stick with what’s worked or branch out?
2. Looking for a durable bag for trips. Not a suitcase, but big enough to accommodate a long weekend. Perhaps a duffle? Any options under a buck fifty?
Love the site. You’re far more sartorially inclined than I will ever be, but as a fellow style blogger (I stick to men under 5’8″…we’re overlooked) I appreciate the high quality content and often use this site for fact checking and inspiration.
Wanted to let you know that I included you in my essential reading for men list (check it out if you’d like). Keep it up!
In your post about the jcrew shoes, what is the name of the shoe on the far right? Also what color are the ones in the picture? I can’t seem to find them
Not sure what shoes you’re referring to my man.
What is the word on leather jackets? I’d love to hear your opinion on the best leather jacket makers. In the market for one and information from the usual suspects is virtually non-existent.
Tough to say, as I don’t know I could ever truly find myself in a leather jacket but…
I like the lighter leather on this Ian Velardi: http://tinyurl.com/cq8q5cs
And this Shearling Bomber from Michael Bastian is certainly a thing of beauty: http://www.mrporter.com/product/314249
And finally, if I were a motorcycle guy, this Schott Cafe Racer from Epaulet would do the trick: http://tinyurl.com/c9p8ys2
Just don’t pull a Tobias Fünke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZr8bbKxYrE
I stumbled upon this new company called La Matera. It makes me think I have overlooked the power of a belt in accenting a man’s wardrobe. What’s your go to belt when you want to get noticed? And how do you think these stack up?
Those look like a fine option.
For me, I’m mostly in a simple leather belt or something with a plaque buckle.
Love the logo. Would it be safe to assume you are a fan of The Skinny Tie Movement? If so, what’s your feeling on the tie clip situation for skinny ties? As an enthusiast myself who likes to keep his tie out of his soup, I like these – Skinny, http://www.skinnytieclip.com – which are actually built from scratch to fit skinny ties. Although, they are circular in shape so not sure if that’s doable with a skinny tie. Any thoughts/suggestions?
Actually I’m not a huge skinny tie fan. Most of my ties hit the 3″ range and go as low as 2 1/2″. The logo is of a knit tie, which in some cases can be rather slim.
Concerning tie clips, I don’t wear them often but do have a couple. The only time I feel life truly calls for a tie clip is if you’re doing something active in a tie (tending bar, dancing your ass off at a wedding, etc.) My only rule is just make sure the tie is wider than the clip.
There is a danger of ties going too skinny – I’ve yet to see someone convincingly wear a tie less than 1.5″ wide, although George Kotsiopolous is pretty damn close. 2.5″ is the perfect size, imo.
Love your vintage omega seamaster. Could you be more specific on what it is? Year, model, etc.
It’s a Automatic Seamaster that dates back to 1969.
Hey Jeremiah, you seem to be an expert on penny loafers. I wanted to get your opinion on the initial fit. I just bought a pair from Rancourt and they seem to be pretty loose upon initial fit even though I sized down half a size. Do I want them to be super tight at first so they break in over time?
Wouldn’t call myself an expert as much as an enthusiast but I can offer my input.
Tough call as it depends on the material, your foot and your preferences. I could go into more detail on this but basically you have to know what will be the most comfortable for you.
Leather does give some over time but in my experience that is a minuscule amount so you’ll want them to fit well from the start. For me, footwear that’s too tight is impossible to wear and with something like a penny loafer, I like a bit a room. Not like my foot is sliding around in the shoe but enough where I can get them on and off without much effort. Keep in mind, you’ll be wearing your penny loafers sans socks, so a proper fit is a must.
At the end of the day, if it’s cutting into your heal or squeezing your toes, try sizing up. If your heel is sliding completely out of the back when you take a step, try moving down a 1/2 size.
Best of luck my friend.
Hey I have a question about your Omega Seamaster… When you bought a new band from formfunctionform did you have to alter the band in any way to make it fit under the push pins? I bought a band from them and I am having trouble getting it to fit… (a single piece band (not two piece))
Yes, any single piece band will be difficult to slide through such a watch without removing the springbars. Shawn gives some instruction on his site that might be helpful (http://formfunctionform.com/product/button-stud-watchband-cordovan-custom/) but ultimately you’ll need a springbar tool. Bergeon’s a good one (http://www.amazon.com/Bergeon-6767-Springbar-Tool/dp/B001IZT8R2) but I’m sure you can find a cheaper version as well.
Basically remove the springbars, place the strap where you want it and put the bars back. It fits a bit snug for my Omega but doesn’t impede the function.
If you want to just give it the old yank and pull, you could try and get an edge through with tweezers but I’d advise against it.
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