Spotlight: Dylan O’Brien

Mr. Dylan O'Brien

Whether you are anxiously awaiting season 5 of Teen Wolf or you’re hoping to find The Maze Runner under your Christmas tree, anyone who’s seen Dylan O’Brien knows that he is a rising star. If you just need proof check him out as *spoiler alert* Nogitsune-possessed Sitles on season 3B of Teen Wolf.

As confusing as Teen Wolf’s mythology can be at times, Dylan’s wardrobe is a study in simplicity. He is the perfect example of using basic pieces to create a complete and totally functional wardrobe. Dylan O'Brien

When it comes to casual clothes he sticks to t-shirts, baseball shirts, and casual button-ups. They are mostly neutral in color, but with various patterns. Plain black t-shirts look surprisingly sophisticated, especially when paired with dark, slim pants.

A similar theory is also applied whenever he wears sunglasses or glasses. They are solid, classic shapes. Black frames are distinctive and striking. In glasses, they play-up his geek-chic appeal; in sunglasses, they are old Hollywood cool. Dylan O'Brien Classic

Even his more dressed up looks are simple. A white shirt, dark slacks, with no tie is a classic and almost never the wrong choice. Same with a simple black leather jacket. Classics are classics for a reason.

Also, if nothing else, Dylan O’Brien proves that hair you could run your hands through is better than a buzzcut. If you’ve got the hair, flaunt it.

Dylan O'Brien Hair

Don’t believe this kid has power? Just remember that he was the 6th most reblogged actor on Tumblr in 2013, and that was before he starred in his own blockbuster.

How to look Handsome in an Ugly Christmas Sweater

Sweaters for All!

There are three types of “Ugly” Christmas Sweaters: Classy, Funny/Nostalgic, and down right Distasteful. The big secret about Ugly Christmas Sweaters is that they don’t actually have to be ugly, unless you are in a contest, then go for it.

The main thing we ask is that you avoid the distasteful ones. The holidays and holiday parties are not the time to wear clothing that is potentially offensive, actually that is not okay at any time. Most of these sweaters are just trying to be funny, but like that coworker at the party that has had one too many, they come on too strong. So no sweaters about bodily functions or organs, please and thank you.

Now onto the fun stuff:

"Ugly" Christmas Jumper

This is how you do a clever theme sweater. Everyone will love a sweater that recalls a beloved Christmas classic or embraces the silliness of the season. Gnomes, Nutcrackers, Yeti, what-have-you, all are perfect sweater features, as long as they remain family friendly.

If you want to go a little more traditional or serious, here are some great options:

Traditional Christmas Jumpers

The go to traditional winter sweater is the Fair Isle. Make it a little more Christmas-y by adding a reindeer or moose. Small repeated patterns are also an easy way to class up your holiday themed garment.

A simple color pallet will also keep a whimsical sweater from veering into silly. Maroons, navy blues, and hunter greens are all traditional and flattering.

Interested in getting your own? Here are a few sites where I found a selection:

- Urban Outfitters: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=33255795&parentid=M_APP_SWEATERS#/

-ASOS: http://us.asos.com/Christmas-Jumpers/Cat/pgecategory.aspx?cid=14622&CTARef=shop|christmasjumpers#parentID=-1&pge=1&pgeSize=36&sort=-1

-Simons: http://www.simons.ca/simons/category/c297/great-gifts/en/?p_4652-165113&gclid=CO616KbCobsCFcpDMgodHSAAvA#zoom

 

The Best Part of Holiday Dinners is the Dressing

It’s that time of year where no matter where you are or what religion you do or do not observe, you will probably be participating in some sort of holiday dinner or celebration. If you are in the US, you’ve already had one this season.

Now, I’ll admit, my family is pretty casual when it comes to our holiday outfits, but it is always nice to dress up a little bit. Here are a few options for your holiday fest.

If you are a formal crew, or your mom makes you wear a jacket to family events, you can still mix it up. Different colors or patterns on your jacket make it a little more personal. You can switch out a tie for a pocket square, which keeps it formal, but not formal. Just make sure your shirt is crisp and everything is clean.

A Dressed Up Holiday

If you still want to look nice, but don’t want to go full suit, there are three basic go to’s: The Cardigan, The Blazer over a T-Shirt, and the Sweater.

A cardigan or blazer instantly dresses up a t-shirt, but are still comfortable. Also you probably already have one in your closet. A sweater is cozy and grown up and totally no fuss.

A Comfy Holiday

But, let’s be honest, there is one choice that stands above the rest. It walks the line of cozy and formal and it is hard to mess up.

What is this unicorn? It’s a button-down shirt under a sweater.

The Perfect Holiday

(Normally I crop pictures, but there was no way I was getting rid of those animal balloons)

If you don’t believe me, that this look is great for almost anyone, check out this testimonial:

Thoughts on Sweaters and shirts

Happy Holidays, whichever one you celebrate!

Not Too Hot and Not Too Cold

There is no denying that fall is in full swing. Where I’m from, that means you need heaters on in the morning and evening, and maybe the air conditioning in the middle of the day. In fact, in a lot of places fall isn’t too hot or too cold, it is both.

That’s why fall fashion revolves around layers.

Aim for light layers, these will be more comfortable and look less bulky. A t-shirt and a light sweater fit nicely under a jacket, so does a button-up with or without the sweater. Combinations like this are a great way to adapt your outfit to different levels of dressiness, so chameleon-like, you can adapt to both situation and weather.

fall layers

 

There are a lot of old rules about what you can and cannot wear in fall, most of which don’t apply to the modern man, but there are some things that are quintessentially autumn. Warm colors like rust, reds, and maroons are cozy and especially great in sweaters and plaid flannel. Neutrals like khaki, olive/army green, rich browns, and denim are great for outerwear and go with almost anything.

Also don’t forget to pull out those worn leather boots.

the color of fall

Fall is also a great time to grow out your scruff a little. Don’t go full No-Shave November, but go ahead and keep your chin warm.

 

 

I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately (I blame my female-dominated work place), so if you have any themes or people you’d like to see more of on here, go ahead and leave a comment.

Spotlight: Jamie Dornan

When trying to decide on this month’s Spotlight, I flipped through my archives and saw quite a few of Mr. Jamie Dornan. The Irish actor and model is no stranger to well layered, quality clothes, so he is a perfect Spotlight.  And honestly I had to do it before 50 Shades of Grey came out, because, well, yeah.

Jamie Dornan will always be Graham/the Huntsman and Count Axel Fersen to me (and an unnervingly attractive serial killer to my sister-in-law). And while his attractiveness may be amplified by his delightful accent, this is a still photo appreciation of his style, so it isn’t quite as biased.

Let’s start with luxurious layers:

Jamie Dornan

There are a lot of great ways to layer clothes and they all amplify an outfit. Even if it is throwing a jacket or a sweater over a t-shirt, you already look more put together. Layers also allow you to mix patterns and colors to keep it visually interesting.

Recently my dad bought a button-down shirt that he decided was far to bright for him to wear, so he threw a sweater over it, and it was instantly toned down, but still retained some of the excitement.

That said, Jamie tends to stick to neutrals and primary colors.

Jamie Dornan - Irish Actor/Model

 

Mr. Dornan has also mastered the art of facial hair. Whether he is clean shaven or scruffy, it is always in an effort to emphasize his cheekbones. His beard is never too long or unkempt, and it tends to also hit just below his cheekbones, which is exactly where you want it.

As much as I don’t understand some of Jamie Dornan’s more recent  role selections, he clearly has a bright future in front of him in both film and fashion. His looks are classic and sexy and definitely ones to replicate.

Thoughts from Terminal E

So I am sitting at the airport right now and it truly is one of the best places to people watch. We can decide a lot about a person just by the way they carry themselves, what luggage they carry, and of course, how they dress.

And it reminds me again, what a difference the right clothes make.

In my immediate vision I can see 4 baseball caps, 2 fleece vests, 1 hoodie with the hood up, 1 set of dreadlocks and 1 pair of flip flops.

There is a guy sitting across from me whose clothes are about two sizes too big. They are nice enough clothes, business-wear, but they look like hand-me-downs from a much larger relative. He might as well be Harry Potter in Dudley’s clothes. He may be fine wearing this in a casual, small town, but it makes it difficult to take him seriously, partially because it makes him look like a kid.

He’d be much better off in something like one of these:

The Non-Hand-me-Down look

While these looks are technically more casual, because they have swapped slacks for jeans and shiny shoes for more worn, casual footwear, they are infinitely more put together. You are a slim man, sir, try a slim cut. Besides, you are traveling, I highly doubt that you will walk directly into a business meeting (it’s 8:30 pm and you are in an airport still).

Now on to those fleece vests and windbreakers. I like layering for travel as much as the next person, but come on guys. Your solid black polar-teck isn’t bad, and I’ll let that one slide, but why wear a fleece when you could wear a cardigan or sweater? I guarantee that a cardigan is actually more comfortable and makes you look less like an old golf pro in the pro shop.

Why not give one of these a try:

Better than a Fleece Vest

Much better, and still cozy.

Happy Travels.

Where to Find What to Wear for Less

We can go on and on about how wonderful the clothes and accessories from Burberry, J. Crew, and Ray Ban are, but designer clothing adds up fast.

I’ve always thought it was funny that fashion is aimed at the young, but the young usually can’t afford it. Luckily, there are some places that are changing that idea.

One of my favorite bargain fashion stores is H&M. Usually I see about one look in a store each time I go in, not so with H&M; there is no shortage of great clothes in H&M. And now that the stores are becoming even more widespread, these looks are even more accessible.

Here’s a sample of great H&M fare, all for under $40:

H&M looks for under $40

Also on my lists of favorites is Express. Express is usually a little more expensive than H&M, but it also tends to have quite a few work-ready looks for great prices.

Express can range from super casual to totally professional suits and button-ups. Also they have an incredible color selection.

This selection has a slightly higher price ceiling ($150) because of the reasonably priced leather jacket (everything else here is available for under $70):

Express looks for under $150

If you are looking for some statement pieces without breaking the bank, Urban Outfitters is worth checking out. They can be sort of hit or miss, because there is a fine line between stylishly worn-in and flat-out destroyed. While they are good for finding different pieces then you may find in a standard department store, be careful that you aren’t overpaying for a t-shirt either.

Here’s some quality piece for under $55:

Urban Outfitters looks for under $55

I’m also a big fan of Topman (the men’s version of Topshop), which is still establishing its presence in the US. I visited a few Topman shops when I live in England and they seemed like a uni student go to for trendy looks. They definitely have some clothes that fall into higher price ranges, but that allows for more variety.

Here are some of the more reasonably priced looks, all falling under $55:

Topman looks for under $55Always remember that price does not equal quality, but when you are looking for looks that cost less, check them out; make sure your new shirt won’t fall apart the first time you wear it or wash it.

These are just a few stores that I’ve noticed and their online looks didn’t fail to impress either. Let us know if there is anywhere you love to go for looks for less. There are always surprising finds in surprising stores, so keep your eyes pealed for reasonably-priced goodness.

This post was inspired by a comment, so let us know what you would like to see on WAMSW.

Books, Covers, and Judgment: A Defense of Some Superficiality

Although this blog is dedicated to menswear, this post is directed to anyone and everyone.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a common idiom in English, which basically means to not judge someone or something by its appearance alone. While this is a nice idea, it is realistically flawed. Our final opinion of someone/thing should not, and will not, be ultimately superficial – humans are complex creatures and our opinions alter with every imperceptible stimuli – but our first opinion is necessarily superficial.

You cannot truly know the contents of a book unless you have read it. When you pick it up for the first time, you do so because a friend or review told you it was good, because the blurb on the dust jacket was intriguing, or because the cover caught your eye. 

We are no different. We should not be consumed by appearances, but we should also give ourselves the best chance possible. This is why we tend to put more time into getting ready before job interviews and dates. Why shouldn’t this carry over into the majority of our public lives? Putting in this effort makes us more confident, so why wouldn’t we do it all the time?

This applies to everyone, not just girls

This applies to everyone, not just girls

We should not become a Narcissus, but wasn’t part of his problem the fact that he did not understand how the world perceived him?

Never let anyone shame you for taking pride in how you look. Do not feel bad for taking extra time or money to make yourself feel more confident. Never let anyone shame you for your body shape. And never let anyone shame you for wanting to change your body shape. As long as you are acting in a mentally and physically healthy way, you are allowed to have opinions about your own looks. Just do it for you.

You can choose to not care about your appearance (although I doubt anyone is ever totally free of this concern, whether they realize it or not), but you are lying to yourself if you don’t admit that appearances count for something. Last year my dad and I heard a stat on a British news program that stated 60% of people judge others based on their looks. My father immediately said that only 60% were willing to admit it. We all do it, right or wrong.

Most importantly, we judge ourselves. Watch any episode of What Not to Wear. The people who belligerently state that they don’t care about fashion or how they look are infinitely more confident after learning how to properly dress their bodies. It isn’t superficial to take time for and pride in yourself.

Don’t believe me? Check out this great video from John Green.

Now go forth and conquer with your dazzling self-confidence!

Guide to Semi-Formal

I think we’ve all received an invitation that included a dress code and we honestly didn’t know what it meant. The rules for these seem so fluid, but at times they really aren’t, which makes the whole issue more stressful. Some are easy – the ultra formal white tie and formal black tie  have pretty clear rules – but the more common ones are generally more confusing.

This post is inspired by an event I’ve been planning for work that is “semi-formal,” which in my area could mean really anything. The western US is, generally speaking, a pretty casual place, so I did some research.

Searching for semi-formal menswear is basically like typing “clothes” into google. And all of the more specific rules I did find varied from site to site, so here is my synthesis of what you should wear to a semi-formal event.

Evening Events (after 6 pm)

evening semi formal

Do not wear a tux – that is black tie or formal – but you should wear a dark jacket. I would also lean toward dark slacks or a full suit. A tie is probably advisable, although it can be colorful or patterned. Shirts can also maybe be colored, but I would avoid anything too wild.

Be sure to take into account the type of event. Weddings should probably be more formal, whereas cocktail parties allow for a little more play.

Day Events (before 6 pm)

day semi formal

Day events have the same basic rules, although suits do not need to be dark. In fact, it is probably more appropriate to go with khaki/tan or grey (even navy is better than black for a day event). By their nature, day events tend to be a little more casual, so you could forgo the tie or play with colors, but again read the event.

An outdoor wedding is going to be more casual than an indoor, especially during the day. A garden party is usually more casual than a cocktail party (unless the former is with the queen).

In more casual places, like my hometown, you could probably really tone it down and no one would bat an eye, but here I defer to Oscar Wilde’s immortal words “You can never be overdressed or over-educated.”

Oscar Wilde on fashion

And if you are going to trust any author about fashion, let it be Mr. Wilde.