Stuck in the Middle

Honestly, I had plans for a couple more Hunger Games posts (a Sam Claflin Spotlight has been in the hopper as long as the Josh Hutcherson one, it will happen one day), but I’ll probably just redistribute at this point.

On one of my other recent posts, I got a question about growing hair out, but maybe not committing to man-bun length locks. Growing hair out can be tricky for anyone- there are always awkward stages along the way – but mid-length hair can also be some of the best.

So I picked a couple stages in the middle, starting with…

mid-length.jpgThe Shaggy Stage

Now, fair warning, I was in middle school in the mid-2000s, so I’ll always have a soft spot for that surfer boy vibe (I was over it by Bieber, but it is back in a big way with men like Bob Morley).

The main rule of shaggy hair is that it has to stay out of your eyes, and not because you’ve developed a hair-flip-twitch, like so many of my middle school classmates. If you plan to keep it shaggy, consider cutting it so it stays at your eyebrows or a tiny bit lower.

If you are in the process of growing it out, comb it or style it in a way that sweeps it out of your eyes.

If you are working a combo style, like an exaggerated quiff, either style it to be pushed back or be prepared to have your hands in your hair a lot, which might not be a bad thing.

Having naturally textured hair helps this look a lot. If you’ve never grown your hair out before, you may be surprised at the texture that presents itself, and that it will vary continually based on the length and day. If your hair is smooth and straight, you can try to add some texture with product or – and I hesitate to say this, although its what I do – you can try not combing your hair. My hair goes straight if I comb it, but has a wave/curl if I don’t, so after a morning shower, I just let it be. Do not do this if your hair tangles easily, it will just look unkempt and dirty. If you do try it, you have to wash your hair, often.

mid-length1.jpg

A Little Bit Longer

So, some of these guys could probably go with a man-bun at the length their hair is, but these show ways to wear it down.

Again, texture and body go a long way with longer hair, but basic rules still apply. Keep it clean, out of your face, and never ever go the mullet route.

If you’re looking to add some body to your hair, consider adding layers. This will lessen the weight and allow any natural texture and lift to flourish. Eoin Macken is a perfect example of this. His hair is relatively smooth, but it has a lot of movement because of its layers. (I have a post saved in my drafts from like three years ago that is about Eoin Macken’s hair…I might need to dig that back up, I’m not sure why I never published it).

I’m terrible at getting my hair trimmed regularly, and that is a huge understatement, but my rule is that when my hair starts to bother me, becomes unmanageable, or I’m constantly trying to get it off my neck and shoulders, then it is time for a haircut. You don’t have to cut it all off when you get to this point, but you at least need a trim or a new style.

mid-length2.jpg

Your Go-To Guy: Gaspard Ulliel

This French actor has had some variation of shaggy or mid-length hair for the past decade. He uses it to change his looks from boyish to manly to mildly terrifying. Most of the time he keeps it solidly away from smarmy and creepy – the exceptions being for roles (like a young Hannibal Lecter), this is done primarily by keeping it clean – even when it has product in it, you can tell the difference between that and just dirty – and keeping it out of his face without being totally slicked back.

If you are pushing your hair back off your face, please, please, do not make it slick and hard with product. Movement and some lift are key.

Good luck!

 

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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.

Know Your Glasses: Clubmaster

Traditionally called Browline glasses, the Clubmaster is a term coined by Ray Ban in the 80s, but let’s be real, what Ray Ban says goes.

These glasses are distinctive for the top of the frame being distinctly heavier than the bottom and recall classic 50s and 60s looks. 

clubmaster

While the Clubmaster/Browline shape might be associated with the hipster look these days, these are really a classic shape that are really flattering. The “browline” creates a second browline which is very flattering on the face. (Don’t believe me? Just check out all those pictures of people without eyebrows)

These are also a shape that are great in both sunglasses and regular glasses. In fact the prescription version would be a nice compliment to your professor look.

classic browline 

Spotlight: Gaspard Ulliel

French actor/model Gaspard Ulliel has one of those faces, like Cillian Murphy, that can be innocent and boyish or quite sinister looking, but always remarkably handsome. This of course has to do with the fact that he is an amazingly talented actor (and the scar on his cheek that can look like a dimple). Most of his work is French and may not reach wider audiences, but he is worth reading subtitles for if you have to. And if you haven’t seen Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles (or A Very Long Engagement in English) you should do yourself a favor and go rent it; it is a beautiful film with amazing performances by Gaspard and Audrey Tautou.

Gaspard’s style is pretty classic, so he is great example for wardrobe basics. (He is also a step back from the patterned and brightly colored outfits WAMSW has been sending your way lately.) He wears a lot of neutrals and darker or muted colors. Gaspard UllielHis wardrobe is full of pieces that every man should own, like a peacoat, a leather jacket, blazers, button ups in various colors, casual undershirts and well-fitting jeans. Both his glasses and sunglasses in the picture above are rounded to balance out his angular face.

Gaspard Ulliel is another great example of how much different haircuts and facial hair change a man’s looks. (If you don’t believe me, just check out his look from Hannibal Rising. Clearly no one’s hair should be that slicked back.) When his hair is longer and he has some scruff he looks far older and more rugged than when he is clean-shaven. It’s true that he has grown up a lot since some of these images, but his styling still changes his appearance significantly.French actor/model Gaspard Ulliel

Gaspard is evidence that you can have a lot of versatility even with the most basic wardrobe and color palate. Also that your haircut does not have to look the exact same every day.

Models often take a lot of risks with their looks because they are in the high fashion world, but they are also a reliable source for good, basic looks.

Oh and if you are wondering where you’ve seen him lately, you’ve probably seen him on ads for Bleu de Chanel. Also he is starring as Yves Saint Laurent in the upcoming biopic Saint Laurent. So, you know, he is obviously at least somewhat aware of fashion.

The Secret Superhero Disguise

As you may have noticed, here at WAMSW we’ve inadvertently taken up the cause of reclaiming the nerd. All of the things that used to be the uniform for “nerds” is cool now, at least in our book (I may or may not have just binged on a bunch of VlogBrothers videos). Well here in this post we’ll talk about the quintessential nerd signifier, that is really one geek chic thing we really like: Guys in Glasses.

sophisticated geek chic

My dad tells a story about getting glasses when he was a kid, when the two options were Clark Kent and the librarian. He adamantly did not want to be Clark Kent and opted for contacts as soon as he could (which are a great option for either some or all the time). But here’s the thing: times have changed. There are now hundreds, if not thousands, of different glasses to pick from and yet my first choice is still the Clark Kent. Be Clark Kent. Or I guess for the purposes of this post, Peter Parker (because let’s be honest, not every incarnation of these characters dons eyewear, but they all should).

Personally I love big black frames. And they are all the rage right now, and have been for years. Sure they might be hipster glasses, but they aren’t ironic if you need them. Also tortoiseshell are an equally professorial, but less harsh option.

Now seeing as I myself do not wear glasses (I would like to, but I have been blessed with good eyes), I would probably tell you to just try on a bunch of pairs before making a decision, but maybe you want to narrow down the field. Here is a helpful face shape to glasses shape chart (it’s for sunglasses, but the same theory applies). If you need help figuring out your face shape they say you can trace it in a mirror with some mirror safe material. And I would always say to follow the advice on the “oval face” section: Frames should be at least as wide as your face at its widest point.

Glasses for your face shape

Decide how much you want/are willing to spend. Glasses can be expensive, like really expensive. My dad was admiring a friend’s glasses and realized “Of course they look good, they are Ray Bans”. And as much as I have a huge weakness for Ray Bans, they are not on the cheap end. When thinking about prices, also consider how you tend to treat your glasses. If they last you forever and have a classic look, you can probably splurge a little more. If you’re the type who always accidentally falls asleep in them, you might want to save some of the cash for the fixes and replacements.

If you are concerned about styles like the Peter Parker/Clark Kent/general undercover superhero styles looking out of date, I have one piece of advice: make sure it doesn’t look like you just haven’t purchased new glasses in twenty years. This is way easier for young guys to get away with because that just isn’t an option. I mean Peter’s glasses in the Amazing Spider-man are literally his dad’s, but they look trendy on him. (Who am I kidding, they looked great on his dad too, those babies are classic). If the pair have some new or trendy element, they won’t look out-dated, even if they retain a vintage charm. But seriously, just try them on.

We love us some glasses

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

What should a man wear?

“There’s nothing better than a well dressed man”

Life Motto

Being single women in our 20s, we noticed that our conversations tend to revolve around the same few topics: Food, wardrobe, dating, and media/entertainment. And with the exception of food, men play a large role in each of these.

In pursuit of the perfect man, we’ve become particular. Now, we aren’t expecting a Jane Austen hero to come waltzing out of the pages, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want a dashing young fellow to sweep us off our feet. As we’ve discussed the particulars, more often than not the conversation turns towards men’s wardrobe. For better or for worse.

And unfortunately, more often than not, it is for the worse.We’ve joked about creating a blog on this topic and we finally decided it had to be done. Too many infractions.

What should you expect? Friendly advice, simple tips, examples of what to do (and maybe a few what not to do’s) and some of our personal favorites.

We don’t claim to be fashion experts, just concerned citizens with a defined taste. Sometimes we’ll agree, sometimes we’ll disagree. Either way it’s better than your saggy sweatpants.

As it has been said:

– Amy and Rachel