Tag Archives: Mix and match

Dating Fashion: Menswear in the New Millennium

It’s so good to see you again, my darling pr0n pals.  I apologize for the prolonged absence; it was unexpected, and I’ve longed to get back to you.  Here’s what’s inspired me today: last night I met up with a gentleman caller of whom I’m fond, but have not seen in quite some time.

Commes Des Garcons Degrade Sport Shirt - $445, Barney's Coop

Commes Des Garcons Degrade Sport Shirt - $445, Barney's Coop

They say you’re only as young as you feel, and while that’s true, it’s been a few years since either of us saw 30.  My gentleman caller, who is a handsome fellow, showed up wearing an Old Navy Polo, cargo shorts, and casual shoes.  It’s not the worst style that your blogger’s ever seen, but not the best, either.

In my caller’s defense, he confessed that he did not know how to dress; this is an affliction from which many a young man suffers: Fashion Challenged.  In today’s post, I’m going to answer the question:  how does one dress these days when one is courting a young lady of the new millennium?

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Sometimes I think fashion is so simple, I wonder how so many get it wrong.  But I recognize that the basics are shown, it can become second nature for all.  I’ve done a man’s semi-casual outfit once before, for Sunday brunch; the date outfit is not so different from the brunch outfit.

We’ve got the usual April heat wave here in DC, where it goes from 50 to nearly 90 inside of a week.  I know your dear blogger was caught off guard, and thanked her lucky stars her summer wardrobe was machine washable.  So for our first option, let’s cut our gentleman caller some slack and show him how to properly wear shorts when drinking with a lady.

Saturday Night Date - Option 1

Here are two different flat front shorts: khaki if you’re a little bit country; plaid, if you’re a little bit rock and roll.  My gentleman caller told me he shops at Old Navy, so I found these at Old Navy’s grown-up siblings: Banana Republic and J. Crew.

On top, I like to style a button down shirt, with a tee underneath; I’m a bit old-fashioned that way.

You can stay on the safe side with a solid color long sleeve – just zhoozh bit, in the words of Carson Kressley.  You don’t have to be so tucked in, and you can roll the sleeves up haphazardly; you’re learning how to dress up casual wear, and dress down work wear.

Women know the dirty little secret of fashion is that you spend time to look fantastic, so you look as if it’s taken you no time at all to look that way.

Don’t be afraid to try something a little different and show some personality.  Put a clean, well-maintained, logo t-shirt in a different color underneath the button down; humor is fine within reason.  Just make sure you are positive about your lady friend’s sense of humor.  Or try a micro-plaid or stripe with your plaid shorts.  The general rule for mixing patterns is one big, one little; one big plaid, one little plaid.

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Gordon Rush Dark Brown Leather Sandals, $135.15 at Bluefly

Gordon Rush Dark Brown Leather Sandals, $135.15 at Bluefly

Few subjects in the fashion world are as controversial as the “mandal”: the man’s sandal.  Is it a do or a don’t?  In this blogger’s opinion, the problem lies not with the poor, maligned mandal, but with the feet that possess them!

Men, it’s time for your first pedicure.  Not only is it incredibly relaxing, and pleasurable, but it makes your feet look good.  Again, women’s dirty little secret is, that our tootsies don’t look this way just because of an extra X chromosome, we pay.  As should you, if your feet plan to see the light of day after March.

If I hear even one of you asking me about flip-flops, there’s no telling what I’ll do!  Flip-flops are for the beach.  When you are not on the beach you will wear a shoe.  *breathes in*  It’s okay, I’m alright, I’m not going to hurt anyone.  Yet.

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Let’s move on to long pants, which can be known as “khakis”, even when not khaki colored.  Their proper name is of course “chinos”, but lots of things which are proper will get you looked at strangely.

Saturday Night - Option 2

Observant pr0n prawns (hehehe) will note that while I put a long sleeve shirt with a short, I’ve put a short sleeve shirt with a long pant.

Of course there will be situations where both of one or the other will be necessary, depending on the weather, but playing with proportion adds interest to an outfit.

Men should not fall into the trap of buying clothing that is too big; check that your shoulder seams are actually at your shoulders.  The shirt can be a bit loose or trim, depending on the particular style – try a slimmer cut shirt if you’re a trim fellow.  It won’t make you look bigger, but buying bigger will make you look smaller.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with a casual shoe, but it depends on the shoe.  A plain sneaker or athletic type shoe does not tell your lady guest that you have put thought into your appearance.

Puma Green Leather 'Scarred Street Low' Sneaker, $111.34 at Bluefly

Puma Green Leather 'Scarred Street Low' Sneaker, $111.34 at Bluefly

A sneaker with some color and style, paired with a solid or patterned top (choose one color from the shirt for your shoes), says that you are a gentleman of some distinct joie de vivre or je ne sais quoi, and what lady would not want that?  Of course, leather is always appropriate, and a simple driving moccasin is simple, classic, and comfortable.

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A simple wardrobe of easy to mix and match pieces is what everyone should strive for. When meeting a member of the other gender, one wants to make a good impression – but perhaps not too good.  One should look attractive, color coordinated, neat, and just a smidge dressed up.  Let your clothing tell your lady friend that you have been looking forward to your outing together.

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In my next post, we’ll talk about ladies, and what to wear when their gentleman comes calling.

As always, it was good for me. Tell me; was it good for you?

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Outfit of the Day Pr0n: Sunday Brunch

Happy Friday, pr0n friends.  If you’re not reading this on Friday, I’m sorry.  I’m starting a new (somewhat) daily column I’m calling Outfit of the Day Pr0n!  Exciting name, no?  Each day or thereabouts I’ll show you how to put together an outfit for a particular style, occasion or body type.

Rebecca Beeson Bright Red Empire Waist Tunic at Bluefly

Rebecca Beeson Bright Red Empire Waist Tunic at Bluefly

I wanted to start with a style that’s easy to do, easy to work off of, and both men and women can wear.  So rather than reinvent the wheel, I pulled this tomato red cotton v-neck tunic from Rebecca Beeson that I used for spring colors in Color Pr0n.

This outfit is “nice casual”.  For me, it’s something to wear out to a Sunday Brunch, or a cool summer evening party on a patio.  Wear it someplace you want to look nice…but not too nice?

Sunday Brunch

I’ve taken the tunic and almost made a casual suit out of it.  I chose a pair houndstooth cuffed capris by Guess?, but you could also put them over a pair of long chino shorts, like these at J. Crew that go up to a size 16.  Over the top and pants I put a one button black suit jacket from Banana Republic’s Monogram Collection.  I’m normally hesitant to recommend one-button jackets, because they’re a harder style to pull off, but this is a nice fit as long as you’re not very busty.  This particular blazer has had a slightly relaxed, slouchy feel that I wanted so it would line up over the tunic and make it dressier, but still keep the whole thing somewhat casual.  You don’t want a really slim fitting or structured jacket here, unless you’ve got an equally structured top.

Next I chose Cocobelle Paloma flat sandals from Endless.com, which have some style and structure (No flip flops! Ever!).  You can see that I’m walking that line between casual and structured in each piece, and that’s kind of the trick.  Pick your occasion, decide how dressy or casual you need to be and go from there.  Exchange the sandals for a pair of flats, the capris for a pair of dark trouser jeans, or the suit jacket for a casual blazer and the outfit will have an entirely different style and feel.  What’s great is that these are mostly types of items you’d have in your closet anyway; you’re just using them in a new way.  Aren’t you clever!

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It’s hard to find really nice, unique men’s clothes.  I’ve been trolling some new blog friends so I hope to bring you more soon. Today’s outfit though, is one that men can totally wear, too.  Not androgynous, just adaptable. :)

A Men's Casual Primer

I’m so ridiculously pleased with how this turned out.  I took the women’s suit idea and used a men’s “geek chic” style.  Take a look at the jacket and shorts; they’re both patterns; the shorts are a tiny navy stripe from old faithful Banana Republic.  Since the shorts are a small stripe, and the blazer from Ben Sherman is a large check, you can mix the patterns.  When mixing patterns, keep use one large and one small, and stick to similar colors.

From there the rest was simple; I loved the pop of bright used in the Ben Sherman picture, so I found a cotton poplin button down shirt in Olive Butter from Old Navy.  The subject of a man-sandal, ie. a “mandal” is still controversial in the fashion world.  Unlike women, most men don’t go out of their way to get pedicures, making the idea of showing off their feet…unappealing.  Instead, try a nice slip on driving moccasin, like Calvin Klein’s Timmy from Piperlime.  Then throw on a messenger bag,  like the Jack Spade I showed you in Handbag/Manbag Pr0n.  Personally I’m pro-man jewelry, but since not everyone is, every man should have at least one really nice watch.  What I like about Nixon’s (the company, not the dead president) “24-20” chrono watch, is the contrast between the black and the bright silver, and the large face.  It’s available at Barney’s Co-op.

Just like the women’s outfit, mix it up: change the color of the shirt or use a nice colorful t-shirt; put it with jeans and a suit jacket and it’s appropriate for dinner out.  Once you’ve mastered the art of mixing and matching this kind of an outfit, call your blogger. She’s single!

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There you go! Your very first outfits of the day, for Friday March 6, 2009.

Until next time, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

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