Leather Jackets

Now the weather is starting to get a little chilly, but seeing as it is not down-right cold yet, we’ve entered that magical, confusing time of jackets. And the king of said category? Why leather, of course. Nothing else could be so timeless, classy, and a little rebellious at the same time. It’s so easy to send a message with a leather jacket, as well as block that pesky wind, but finding the right one is no simple task.

I’ve searched the web for a selection of nice jackets in different colors and  features. The ones I settled on are all currently for sale at Nordstroms, Express, or Burberry. If you know anything about these stores/brands, you know that also provides a rather large range of prices. Now we all know I love me some Burberry (see: Eddie Redmayne), but their prices are ridiculous and there is no need to spend that kind of money on clothes. If for some reason you have access to such items and brands, by all means wear it all, but for us common folk, cheaper jackets will do just fine. Honestly, I don’t even care if it is real leather, just so long as it looks like real leather. (Bonus perk of the fake stuff: you don’t need to fear rain).

Let’s take a brief tour of the examples and what they are doing right:

Top Left: Grey is a refreshingly unexpected color for this type of jacket, but not so out there that it looks wrong. It’s also a slim fit, without garish zippers or collar. It also has subtle detailing on the shoulders for some added interest.

Bottom Left: Similar to the grey jacket, but in a more traditional brown. It’s a crisp style that pretty much can’t go wrong.

Center Left: I thought I would have advised against belted and the pronounced pockets, but this jacket makes it work. Wearing it open, like the model does, allows these details to be interesting, not overwhelming. It fits close to the body and has just enough biker to make it tough. Not sure how it would look when actually belted though, maybe steer clear of that.

Center Right: Another unexpected like, the sheepskin collar. Normally I’m not a fan of sheepskin or fur on coats because it is too overwhelming, and often tacky cheap looking, but this just has the old school bomber feel (like WWI old school). Also this jacket is doing wonders for his frame. This no doubt skinny model looks broad and strong with help from the epaulettes and the cut in at the waist.

Top right: Basically the black version of the first two. The collar is a little larger, but basically a clean, simple go to.

Bottom Right: A polished look, with cuffs, a little extra play around the collar, and extra detailing around the zipper.

I know this post is getting long, but here are a few tips on styling your jacket (because we don’t want you regretting that semi-hefty purchase):

The Classic, Rebel Without a Cause: take a cue from French bad/pretty boy Gaspard Ulliel and pair your jacket with a white v-neck and some Ray Ban Wayfarers. Cigarette optional.

The Singer/Songwriter: Look to newcomer musician and Burberry model Roo Panes with a no fuss jacket and jeans, and what appears to be a t-shirt and converse. For extra oh so sensitive man appeal, add lyric notebook.

The Coolest Kid in School: Josh Hutcherson rocks his leather jacket/s anywhere and everywhere. Here he has it with a tank, khakis, and always ready Ray Bans for a more relaxed look.

The Dapper Scholar: A sweater, nice trousers, loafers, and thick-rimmed glasses give Ryan Gosling that curl up by the fire look, while the jacket and military style bag give him a little extra edge.

The Sophisticated Beau:  Whoever this is has perfect fitting clothes and the combination of dress clothes and a leather jacket is nigh irresistible. Skinny tie and leather jacket gets almost instant results, I promise.

-Amy

Sweaters

I’m going to be straight with you: this is a COMPLETELY girly post. I’m sorry but I thought I should warn you in advance. It doesn’t mean that it won’t have GREAT (and completely biased) advice in it. It’s just very what-I-personally-swoon-for-in-a-man-esque. Forgive me.

Blanket statement: There is next to nothing better than a man in a sweater. Little babies in pumpkin costumes at Halloween are a close second, but sweatered men are DEFINITELY number 1. (pardon the excessive use of caps, I just really love sweaters)

Be it a crew neck, v-neck, fair isle, quarter zip, full zip, buttoned, cardigan, or what have you, I love a man in a sweater. It politely shouts the following:

1. I’m warm and therefore will make you warm (I run cold, I like to think I’ll be well protected from the elements when I’m around men)

2. I’m incredibly cuddly (see #1)

3. I’m huggable (see #1 and 2)

4. I’m manly and somewhat rugged (this depends on the sweater, admittedly)

As far as I know these aren’t bad things to be saying to a girl. I can pretty much guarantee that every girl you ever talk to will agree with me on this one. Sweaters aren’t and can’t be bad. Well, you know, maybe there are a few mistakes you can make but if you stick to these flexible rules you’ll never miss:

1. If you must do pattern keep it light and subtle (stripes) or classic (fair isle, argyle). The only place I should see an ugly sweater is at the office Christmas party. I don’t need to see something that looks like it was born the same year I was, on you.

2. Aim for mostly neutral colors (gray, black, tan, navy, cream etc.), they fall under the classic category and are therefore ALWAYS a safe bet.

3. Have ONE bright sweater. I’m not a big fan of bright sweaters; they tend to overwhelm me. But I can’t help but love an occasional pop of color (burnt orange, apple green, lapis blue) during the dull winter months. I guess you could have three bright sweaters if you stick with the above mentioned colors but please don’t veer off into the pinks and purples. It just doesn’t usually work.

4. Go for chunky. I adore a good chunky sweater. There’s nothing that says manliness more than a guy that walks in with a chunky cable knit sweater, LL Bean boots, and smells like pine trees and campfire. Seriously, it’s beautiful.

5. Rib knits aren’t chunky. And they’re not cute so stay far away from them. Far.

6. Think Elbow Patches. They’re very distinguished looking plus they also give that warm, cuddly, huggable and manly look to any guy. Instant winner.

Honestly, I don’t understand why more men don’t utilize sweaters. It’s a beautiful piece that’s easy to come by, looks good on anyone, and makes you look more polished and like you put just a little more effort into your wardrobe than the other guy. Please, wear sweaters.

-Rachel

PS: most of these sweaters are from LL Bean or The Gap. You don’t need to spend a large chunk of cash on these. Aim for quality and classic styles and you’ll be set for life, barring excessive weight gain or loss.