Cityscape

Apparently the best way to inspire me to write a post these days is to give it an abstract theme. Maybe I’ve been out of creative writing classes for too long. Or maybe all the aesthetic posts on Tumblr are starting to make me think differently. Who knows?

Any way, as I’ve traveled it has become increasingly clear to me that, while we may say all big cities are the same, every place has a feeling all its own. At times I can sum it up in just a word or two that encompasses the feeling of a place.

This post is less about the actual style of these cities, but more about styles that embody their feeling. Some of it overlaps.

Also, I recognize that I picked the four most obvious cities that one would expect in a post like this. (high-five self). But I wanted to pick cities I have visited–three of them more than once–and that I could identify a comparable style for, so this is what you get.

cityscape

New York is….gritty and electric

New York is one of those cities where you can turn a corner or walk far enough down a street and suddenly feel like you are in a totally different place. You can go from some of the nicest neighborhoods in the world to centers of business and economy to trash piled on side streets. It really never sleeps, horns and sirens echo through the brightly lit night sky at all hours.

New York is hyper-masculine white t-shirts and leather jackets. It is dark business suits. It is ready for anything, armed to the gills with tech and layers of clothes to keep you going all day.

cityscape2

Paris is….elegant and magical

Paris feels unlike any place I’ve ever been. It is ornate and majestic, without being loud or aggressive. It is elegant white buildings with small wrought-iron balconies. It’s a glittering dream and somehow effortlessly cool at the same time. Paris is proud and historic, with ghosts of the past down every boulevard and alley. Paris could beat you in a fight, but would probably just turn its nose up instead.

Paris is either all dark or all pastels. It is sleek lines and tailored clothes. It is funky mixed patterned and pops of artist colors. It is totally clean and a little purposefully disheveled.

cityscape1

Los Angeles is…free and loud.

Los Angeles is a city of dreamers and artists and people looking to make their way into a sunnier future. It is expansive manors and apartments stacked crookedly and high. It is bright sun and righter colors. It is self-expression and carefully honed looks. It’s a little cheeky, but laid back. It is eternal summer.

Los Angeles is bright colors mixed with loud patterns. It is jackets and beanies when it is way too hot to justify them. It’s jean jackets and tank tops and sunglasses. It’s sleeves and pants that are just a little too short.

cityscape3

London is…comfortable and unforgetting.

London has a long memory. It’s streets still know the kings and peasants that used to walk them. It is a cup of tea and a biscuit on a rainy day with stacks of books and warm blankets. It is personal and anonymous. It is classic and a little shy, but ultimately cooler than you. It has as much culture as it does history. It is a place you want to be a part of.

London is shirts buttoned all the way up. It’s cozy sweaters and wool coats. It is skinny jeans and leather boots. It is dark neutrals and thick scarves. London is layers at all times of year.

 

Part of the reason I love to travel is how even in the smallest details, nothing is the same. I hope to do more of this series and include cities like Portland, Munich, and Rome. Let me know if there are any cities you’d like to see and the feelings they embody.

(How obvious is it that I have spent the least time in LA?)

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.

Men’s Monochrome

mon·o·chrome

noun– a painting or drawing in different shades of a single color.

adjective – being or made in the shades of a single color

Here at WAMSW we are always encouraging you to take a risk with color and add visual interest to an outfit; well today, we are doing that in a little different way.

Now you might be thinking that monochrome can go one of two ways: Noel Fielding or OK Go (specifically circa the album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky). But that is where you would be taking a much to simplistic view. Basically, if you aren’t looking for a stage costume, we want to steer clear of exactly matching shades (yes, even if American Apparel has them all nicely laid out together).

black on black monochromeThe key to black on black monochrome without veering into goth or emo or any of those other middle school cliques is styling. If you aren’t sporting eyeliner and flat, dyed, black hair, you are already off to a good start.

The easiest and most obvious ways to elevate this look is through suits or pairing black button ups with your black slacks. Another fairly safe way is with sweaters. If you go the way of the black t-shirt with your black jeans, just make sure the t doesn’t have a band name on it because that is sure to send you back to middle school (both articles of clothing are fine, just not together).

neutral monochromeThe other best way to do monochrome is in neutral colors. This way you aren’t overwhelmed in a riot of color or soul crushing black. Browns, tans, navys, and greys are all pretty easy to pull off. Just make it clear that the colors aren’t supposed to be an exact match, especially with greys. Whites are a little harder for men to pull off for some reason, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the try.

If you are worried about a look getting too flat in any color, go with simple undershirts/button ups of a different color that will show at the collar, the hem, and maybe the sleeves of your shirt. You can also keep your monochrome up top and wear a different color of trousers, or at least shoes.

Monochrome OK Go style
That all being said, OK Go are a delight in concert and bring Technicolor joy to all those who they encounter. If you are brave enough, go ahead and take the leap into brighter, non-neutral, colors. Just do it with intention and expect a few looks.

Date Night: How to Dress to Impress

There are two places you really want to make a good first impression: a job interview and a first date. But while most job interviews have a similar dress code, dates area totally different ballgame.

There are all sorts of factors, like how well you already know your date, what you are planning on doing, where you are going, etc., and we will try to account for all these variables as well as we can.

However, it isn’t always a first date that requires impressing, especially since a certain holiday is fast approaching. Here are style tips for whatever your dating needs.

Let’s start on the more formal end:

a more formal date night

This date is to a nice restaurant or maybe a play or some other type of performance. You still want to look nice and dressed up, even though you aren’t at a black tie event (if you are check out Black Tie Done Right). Even the examples I’ve shown vary in formality, but notice they all have ties. Sweaters and leather jackets are a bit more casual than a suit jacket or blazer would be. Lighter colors also ten to be less formal. If you want to go the vest route, bring a jacket; you can take it off once you’re seated, but the look is incomplete without it on a nice date.

Moving on to a more mid-range formality:

semi-formal date nightThis date is a dinner party or a nice, but not hoity-toity restaurant. This look is a step above the norm, showing your date that you care enough to put in some effort. It mixes and matches formal pieces: slacks, jackets, button-ups, and sweaters, but doesn’t go for the whole ensemble. Your button up is still tucked in at this level though. Khakis and colored pants are more casual, as are non-button shirts.

And finally casual without being sloppy:

casual date nightThis date is a regular old dinner and a movie. It’s a corn maze, a night with friends, or a night around town. But this is still a date, so your casual is not sweats or shorts or sandals (notable exception being a beach date, but is it really the season for that?). Layers are your friends because than you are free to adjust as the night continues. Nothing on your body should have holes or stains or pronounced fading. Pick simple classics that fit, so that your date isn’t distracted by your outfit (whether too formal or just bad).

Whether you are taking your spouse or long-time significant other out for Valentines or on a blind date or somewhere in between, dress to impress, but make sure to let a bit of your natural style shine through, after all dates are about getting to know people.