Spotlight: Chris Pine

Chris Pine is the lead of a major franchise, one that’s legacy began in 1966, and has become the quintessential “nerd” and “cult” symbol, if a multi-billion dollar industry can be called “cult”. He released nine projects between the release of the first and second Star Trek movies (the multi-billion franchise mentioned above, in case you live under a rock) and has at least four more in the works. But despite all of this, he manages to fly largely under the radar. Other than his well documented bromance with co-star Zachary Quinto, that is.

The same theory applies to his wardrobe. It isn’t particularly adventurous or flamboyant, but he constantly looks put together and classic. Although the endless parade of suits at movie premiers may seem uniform, they are kept interesting with different textures and color combinations. Mixing things up in these simple, subtle ways keeps interest in the suit or classic cardigan and jeans combo.

chris pine

It is all a matter of small details. A linen suit looks fresh, a paisley pocket square adds interest, chunky sweaters add interest to an otherwise plain outfit, and a manly leather bag is functional and classy. Another tricky thing he is pulling off in the picture above? Grey on grey. This combo can easily look too matchy matchy or wash you out into a blob of shapeless dull. But here both the pants and sweater are high quality materials, slightly different shades, and the real saving grace is the crisp white shirt that draws attention to his face and to where the grey ends.

Mr. Pine also mixes up textures when it comes to his movie star jawline. Ranging from clean-shaven to stubble, to full beard and back again allows him to switch up his look with minimal effort. While I prefer the stubbly look to the beard, he keeps his well-trimmed, so that it works for him without taking over his face.

All stages of beardedSo keep it clean and interesting, by using little details to look individual and polished without being overwhelmed.

And let’s all agree on one thing, no one really looks good in a Star Trek uniform.


The Manly Art of Jewelry

The first rule of jewelry is don’t call it bling.

The second rule of jewelry is don’t call it bling or any other such terrible word. If you do, your jewelry rights are thereby revoked by WAMSW.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on to our more guidelines than rules. A lot of guys stray away from necklaces, bracelets, rings, and the like because they are considered feminine, but really let’s get with it, even Paul Newman wore a necklace sometimes. If you aren’t sold by the end of this, you can always go pick out a nice watch and call it good.

Here are some items we always approve:

  • Wedding rings — with the provision that you actually are married.
  • Medical bracelets — please do not put yourself in danger because you aren’t sure if it goes with your outfit.
  • Any other single piece with personal meaning — like Eoin Macken’s necklace that has his father’s wedding ring and a gift from his mother.

Keep it simple

Here are some things we strongly advise against:

  • Anklets and toe rings — not only are these pretty girly, but they are pretty 90s too.
  • Excessive amounts of adornment — sure sometimes layering necklaces or bracelets can be good, but if they are already large or flashy in any way, keep it down to one.
  • Tongue rings — I have a friend who has one, and he is a lovely guy, but the tongue piercing is not helping him out. You can say that you don’t see it often, but really it is just going to damage your teeth and make you prone to infections. Also it will probably impede your speech.
  • Diamond earrings — real or fake, these babies just look trashy. I’m not particularly partial to any earrings on men, but if you are going there, at least make it something that is unique, interesting, and doesn’t make you look like my friend’s brother who got his ear pierced at 13 (pretty sure he doesn’t wear it anymore in his mid-twenties.
  • Ear gauges — You can’t come back from this one. Here at WAMSW we strongly advise against any jewelry or wardrobe choices that would require surgery to reverse. Small ones are less offensive, but do you really want those around you wondering what they could stick through your ear?

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Leather is always a simple, masculine way to accessorize.
  • Also metal, as long as it kept simple.
  • Jewelry shouldn’t dominate a look, but compliment it.
  • I just googled “men’s jewelry” and it was all bad. Don’t wear anything that will remind someone of Nickleback (not sorry).
  • Unless you are Richie Tenenbaum you probably shouldn’t be wearing a sweatband casually, on your head or wrist. You don’t want people thinking you are excessively sweaty.


Wrapped in Paisley and Polka-Dots

We all know the value of a good stripe, plaid, or gingham shirt and the way they can liven up any outfit, but generally speaking they aren’t particularly daring patterns. If you’re looking to take it a step further, we are delving into the wild world of paisley, polka-dots, tribal, geometric, and other less common prints.

patternsPattern Myth 1: Polka-dots are for 50s housewives. Just not true. Polka-dots are having a huge comeback right now in both mens and women’s clothing. It is a basic geometric pattern like a stripe or a plaid, that looks polished and isn’t too distracting. There is something a little whimsical about dots, which makes them perfect for pairing with more traditional or plain suits or slacks. Still worried they are too girly? Try darker base colors or a tighter pattern.

Myth 2: Paisley is too psychedelic or flamboyant. It’s true that paisley is one of the louder patterns out there because it often incorporates a lot of colors and various shapes, but it is also a classic. You can find monochromatic or duo-chromatic versions that are subtler and, like dots, when paired with traditional menswear items, it becomes a unique statement piece.

Zac, Ewan, MattMyth 3: Geometric patterns (besides stripes) are too busy. Geometric patterns are what I am calling repeated patterns of basic shapes, so basically all of the patterns that don’t have a name and aren’t a single picture. Like paisley, these can be loud because they really don’t have any rules. But they won’t overwhelm you because the pattern repeats, which keeps them from being distracting. Have you noticed how many times I’ve repeated that these patterns repeat? That’s because repetition is to patterns what neutrals are to colors; they go with anything. Okay so maybe really loud ones won’t pair with everything, particularly other patterns, but the idea works.

Myth 4: Tribal is for hipsters. Okay, so tribal is a little bit for hipsters, but that is just because it has a distinct feel. Tribal isn’t something you’d wear to the office, but it has an unmistakable summery feel. You’d wear this to a concert or the beach, probably on a t-shirt or flannel. This is another pattern that can handle bright colors, but doesn’t have to, it can be as muted as you like. (I’m also going to lump south-west patterns in this myth).

bright patternsMyth 5: Animal prints are for girls. I’m calling that a myth because in my book animal prints are always a bad idea. In general they tend to look trashy and cheap. You could maybe get away with a really subtle, dark, monochromatic one, but in general I say no.

And now a piece of  pattern advice: keep it localized. WAMSW is thrilled if you’ve taken to the idea of patterns, but please do not go so far as to completely cover your body in it. Stick to one article of clothing in one pattern (Pattern mixing is a topic for another day. It can work, but it is risky territory). Just please don’t follow the example of one of the group below:

Please don't.You don’t want people singing the Star-Spangled Banner to your backs. To the kid saluting the couple, we at WAMSW salute you.

If the thought of patterns still scares you, try it on a tie or some socks as a way to add individuality without wearing it all over. The feel of a pattern can be completely changed by the colors and what it is paired with, so maybe before making an out of character purchase have a plan of what you will pair. If you buy with a plan, it won’t end up in the back of your closet as a regretted purchase.