Outfit Ideas

Red Wing Boots: A Dorky Teenage Dilemma Resolved

pScreenshot 2015-12-29 at 3.02.54 PMHere’s an embarrassing story.

When I was in high-school, I fancied myself a bit of a hippie. I had long hair and listened to the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. I was opposed to the Gulf War and I wore paint-splattered Levi’s that had once been my father’s work-pants. I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X  and carried a suitcase with my schoolbooks on which I’d written: “The Mighty Quinn.”

One wet, winter day, hanging out with some fellow hippie neophytes, I posed a dilemma: what was truer to the hippie ideal we strove for? A) A pair of Nike high tops thathad been languishing in my closet since I’d discovered Birkenstocks, or B) a pair of my old man’s Red Wing boots, that were too large by two sizes? The sneakers fit, but the boots were so much cooler.

Striving for some sort of authentic hippie identity in early 90s Mequon, Wisconsin was already absurd. Trying to determine the most appropriate footwear for the costume is cringeworthy. And yet, it’s sort of touching. If you haven’t seen this Buzzfeed about the 10 most embarrassing pages from the 1990 JC Penney catalog, check it out. Stylistically, the early 90s were an extension of the 80s: everything was oversized, understyled. Fanny packs, mullets, slouchy-sweaters with big belts, and Zubaz pants. I like to think that at some level, I knew that the Emperor had no clothes, so to speak. All that shit was ugly, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Also, by way of contrast: last week, the Beatles’ music was streamed 50 Million times in 48 hours. Conversely, when I was in high school, I was ribbed for listening to the Beatles. When Waldenbooks added a new book to their meager inventory, it was a given that I would buy it. These days, there’s too much to read, let alone to buy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. When current fashion and classic style align, it’s a good thing. That’s a luxury I didn’t experience as a High School Junior.

At some level, in my teenage groping, I was looking for music that meant something, that spoke to me, that would never age or moulder in the way that Top 40 music seemed to. I was looking for something with substance, with style, with soul. So, too, footwear.




Dapper Americana: paired with denim jacket and gingham shirt/tie.

25 years later, in preparation for spending the holidays in Milwaukee, I decided to splurge on a pair of boots that could handle a type of precipitation we don’t have out in California: “Wintery Mix.” This delightful blend of slush, show, sleet and rain penetrates the seams of boots and transforms your feet into numb stumps. My usual desert boots aren’t cut out for this sort of action.



DomesticDomestic.com, a website that curates American Made goods, offers Red Wings (made in Minnesota) in a spectacular, StyleForDorks-friendly color: Indigo. I bagged a pair and I’ve worn them every day for the past two weeks. My feet stay dry and warm, I’ve gotten a ton of compliments, and here’s what impresses me the most: no matter what I wear them with, they’re perfect. Jeans and a button up. T-shirt. Cardigan and blazer. Knit tie and flower lapel.




Vintage hat and jacket. Classic everything else.

They go with everything because they’re a classic-original, a style never that never gets old.


I started listening to the Beatles when I was 15. I got my first pair of Red Wings when I was 17. I know I’ll be fans of both for a long, long time.


14 Days of Reflection: Weekend Look #3 – The First Day of Vacation

IMG_4440For many people, and understandably so, the second that vacation begins, the care to construct a styley look ends. And truly, I will never fault anyone for taking off the work clothes and slipping on the t-shirt, shorts and flips-flops.

On the other hand, as long as you gotta wear something (assuming you’re vacationing with family in, say, San Diego, and not at “Sea Mountain Nude Hotsprings”) why not wear something well put together?

The trick is this: if you know that you won’t have the headspace to pick out a bunch of vacation outfits as you rush to cram your suitcases, pick them out in advance. Way in advance. In other words, identify a couple of pairs of pants, a few shirts, a pair of shoes, and yes, a classy layer-piece: a sweater or an unconstrcuted blazer or both.

Then, when your plane takes off in three hours and you still haven’t filled your suitcase, you need not panic: you know what you’re packing.

As Gabi and I approach our first week as (and with) future-family, I’m struck by two competing forces at work. First, there is, well, the familiar. Gabi’s family is very tightly knit and meals with them are full of laughter, good-natured ribbing, and decades’ worth of stories. They seem to appreciate and understand my humor, although folks are divided on whether my puns are brilliant or groan-worthy.

IMG_4437On the other hand, there is the unfamiliar. Deeply unfamiliar. People who are dear to me, and have been for years, take on roles of new significance. Future father-in-law. Future mother-in-law. Future brother-in-law. I have never really known these roles in my life, and I’m acutely aware of this, the way a new article of clothing feels very there.

It seems appropriate, in these circumstances, to wear something fitting this odd and beautiful confluence of well-known and never known. Here, on this San Diego beach, what could do that better than comfy sneakers, a soft sweater, my old hat – and a red flower in my lapel?

Vintage Varsity: Lettering in Style


Before David Letterman, there was THE Letterman.

My own history with varsity style involves a lot of very un-varsity moments.

I would eventually experience great disappointment in discovering that the only part of this movie that applied to my freshman year at college was the nerdiness.

I would eventually experience great disappointment in discovering that the only part of this movie that applied to my freshman year at college was the nerdiness.

First, when I was a little kid, there was varsity-superhero Letter Man, a favorite regular on the PBS show, Electric Company. His sport: ripping the letter from his sweater and applying it to spoiled words – thus restoring “custard” to those who’d been forced to eat mustard. Kids learned to read. The word/world was saved.

Then there was “Lambda Lambda Lambda,” the fraternity in which a gaggle of outsiders found comradery, legitimacy and pride in Revenge of the Nerds.

Moving on, there was my big opportunity to earn a letter in high school. No, not in football. In the National Speech and Debate Organization. I would go on to win second place in state, but stupidly, I turned down the letter.

That move would go on to haunt me for decades.

varsityusageThe unfortunate mistake I made had nothing to do with the prestige of lettering, seeing as how my award-winning speech about drawing Beatles caricatures afforded me all the prestige I needed. Rather, I lost the opportunity to bag one of those cool sweaters.

Until this year.

The usage infographic on the right testifies to the return of the term “varsity,” in modern parlance. This is especially fortuitous because it coincides with the availability of varsity apparel for style-dorks. The monopoly on this classic piece of Americana, previously held by the sinister jocks (Alpha Betas and their cronies), has been broken.

vintagevarsityBefore I tell you where to nab a great varsity sweater and what to wear it with, a little history. First, the word varsity is derived from the word “university,” and simply reflects an outdated pronunciation. The tradition of the letter goes back to the second half of the 1800s, when Harvard used them to mark uniforms, and would award the lettered jersey to the captain of a successful team at the end of the season.

Ten years before this, a successful British military commander during the Crimean war made popular a button-up woven garment. His name?  James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan.

These historical events, combined with the roaring twenties and the rise of college culture, lead to the proliferation of the varsity sweater across America, and that leads us to today, where I have a few to many of them in my closet, and yet, weirdly, not enough.


Americana Overdrive

How to rock a varsity sweater

While you could wear a varsity sweater as a layer piece over whatever you wanted, I’d like to suggest that the fun multiplies with additional vintage style elements – many of which are as common as a pair of dark, indigo jeans, with a generous cuff, and even a bow-tie or newsboy cap. 

On the other hand, if you’re concerned about looking too costumey, have a peek at my How Much Flair infographic, which will guide you in upping your style-game without going overboard.

Look 1: Americana Overdrive

This look (above) pairs a great varsity sweater by the progressive clothing company Kipper Clothiers with a denim tie and a gingham shirt: Americana layered on Americana. This sweater is beautifully made, soft, and stylish. Grab a pair of incredibly cheap, but incredibly styley PF Flyers to complete the look.

Note: if you want to layer this many patterns, stick to a tried-and-true color palette: red, white and blue.

greensweaterandplaidvintagevarsityLook 2: Two Layers of Vintage


Stay Fly Thrash: Advanced Style Swerves

This sweater lacks the typical letter of a varsity cardigan but hey, notice the stripe on the sleeve? That’s Thom Browne’s nod to the varsity stripes – which, incidentally, stand for how many years you participated in the sport. In this case, the sport of styliness. On the left, the sweater is paired with a gingham shirt, an idea I shamelessly ripped off from StayFlyThrash, who pulls off advanced style swerves that require a PhD in cool. Somehow, the strong colors work, and pull the look off the college campus and push it into post-modern fashion-zone.

On the right, paired with Chuck Taylors, plaid pants and a bow-tie,  I’m ready for a Gatsby party. (On the rare occasion when there isn’t such an event happening in San Francisco, one is happening in my head).

leanonscopeE-bay Pullover

This sweater came from eBay, and it’s a success story in the power of the saved search.

I’m a big fan of Andre 3000s now defunct label, Benjamin Bixby (wherein he combined his middle and last name with vintage prep style).

This sweater probably retailed for the cost of a semester at an ivy-league college, but I paid very little for it.

On eBay, you can ask for an alert if a particular item is posted. 6 months ago, I saved a search for Andre 3000’s finest, received a notification a few weeks ago, and put in a low, low bid.

Here, I pair it with the ubiquitous dark denim, a used newsboy Goorin Brothers cap,  and some PF Flyers, for an old school look. By the way, the whole outfit cost me under $80. Take that, Yale. I learned my economics on the internet.


fullonsuitSuitable for Anywhere

Here are two ways to pair vintage varsity with a suit. On the left, a vintage tweed suit pairs beautifully with the Kipper Clothiers cardigan.

My advice: make sure the colors compliment each other, and avoid too smooth a suit; you want something with texture to balance the cozy sweater.

On the right, the varsity look lives only in the sleeve of this dress shirt from Gant. I waited until this shirt was languishing on the clearance rack and got it for a third of the price.

Incidentally, buttoning the top button (otherwise known as an “air tie“) helps to keep the look streamlined and casual – even while earning As for awesome.


Letters for the Women’s Team

In case it wasn’t clear how much I love the vintage varsity look, maybe this will convince you, and maybe it will give you some ideas of your own: I poked around online and found a bunch of Rugby by Ralph Lauren cardigans for someone special.

Gabi (said special person) wears a lot of great dresses, often with strong, primary colors. I wondered: how would those dresses pair with a vintage-style varsity sweater? Answer: amazing.

The Rugby label is now defunct, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t available. Head over to your favorite online auction and offer a bid and see if you can’t bag a once-super-expensive sweater for much less.

The sweater lends the outfit a cuddly, sporty aesthetic, and she pairs it beautifully with some Chuck Taylors, Clark’s Boots, or a pair of vintage heels.


Sweater by Ralph Lauren Rugby, socks by Happy Socks, and hat by Goorin Brothers. Pair with a wool tie and a collared shirt and wear it anywhere.

Dress Up, Dress Down

In an earlier post of Dress-Up/Dress-Down mashups, I got pretty nerdy on the subject of mixing formal and informal elements, creating great art, architecture, and style.

Whether you decide to hunt for a varsity cardigan or not, I hope this post gives you some ideas for adding together sporty and dressy elements.

GQ can keep their $400 “sportscore” designer sweatpants. I’d rather pull my influences from a style that never goes out of style.

Target is the New “On Point.”

Meet Jill.

Jill is thirty-something, smart-as-hell, and has a great, dry sense of humor. Trust me, she is one-of-a-kind.

Jill is also like many people in that:

1. She could use a hand in selecting outfits that show off her natural good looks.

2. She’s interested in stepping up her style game but isn’t interested in dropping a lot of money on fancy labels.

3. She’s busy – and she doesn’t want to sink a lot of time into bargain hunting.


Enter the Target Style-Up.

Target has gone through some spikes and slumps in the past ten years, but has been making strides to come back swinging. We brought Jill to Target to test their women’s spring collection, and I think you’ll agree – Target is on point.

Look Number 1: From office to happy hour

nauticalv2blackcardiganHere, Jill wears a pair of slim-fitting “ankle-pants” with a more conservative cardigan (right) and with a fun, spring blazer in a nautical stripe (left).

Notice the skinny belt – it pulls the outfit together and keeps the profile trim and clean.


1. The tank top looks great tucked in because it creates a pulled-together look.

2. Swap out the black flats for clean, canvas sneakers for a beachy look.

3. Grey, blue, white and black all complement each other. Don’t be afraid to stack multiple tones of each.

whiteshirtpantswithjacketcuteLook Number 2: Seersucker Before Memorial Day

Let’s get one thing out of the way. You can wear seersucker before Memorial Day. You can wear white pants before Memorial day. You can wear whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it looks good.

Here, Jill looks better than good – her seersucker capris pair beautifully with a fresh v-neck tee, without the jacket for a walk in the park, or with the jacket for a walk to the office water-cooler.


Look Number 3: Black and White and Red All Over

As long as we’re on a role with ankle-pants, add some color with this spring-time red. Paired with the same cardigan as above and a nautical-stripe tee, the color contrast is fresh and festive.

* * *

Wear this outfit to a porch party – or just, you know. Wear it on a porch.

smilewithjacketLook Number 4: The Coldest Winter Ever: Summer in San Francisco

What’s disappointing: Mark Twain never said that line about the Bay Area weather.

What’s not disappointing: the foggy evenings here let us wear great later pieces like this double breasted trench-style jacket, all “summer” long.

It’ll keep you warm while you stand in line for ice cream.

jacketv3Look Number 5: Rebel on the Beach

Speaking of jackets, this cute Tar-jay jean-jacket costs about a third of what you’d drop on a name-brand, but you’d jacketsmilenever know it. It pairs beautifully with a summery dress, adding a touch of bad-assery to the clean-cut foundation. On the left, we paired it with a preppy-stripe sun-dress with a built in string-belt. On the right, we mashed it up with a Maui print dress for the beach-party look – or maybe for the after-beach party.

Look Number 6: Maximum Style

One of my favorite denim-meets-summer outfits combines the denim jacket with a maxi-dress, perfect for slipping over a bathing suit.

jillawesomegifTarget on Point

We left Target with about a dozen pieces, all for the cost of a single designer item from a fancy department store. And while it’s easy to get excited about the savings, there are a few, other significant benefit of shopping at Target.

1. Sales people help you – and don’t bug you.

Sometimes, when you want to experiment with a new look, it’s nice not to have someone fawning over you and giving their opinion. At Target, you have the space to try things on and leave with whatever you’re happy with.

2. The selection is plentiful but not exhausting 

I often feel like department stores are designed to exhaust shoppers and wear down their defenses. At some point, I find myself riding up and down the escalator, unsure of where I’m going.

At Target, everything – from beach casual to classy dresses – are just a few aisles apart.

And if you need a hot pretzel, mid-shopping excursion, they got that, too.

3. Target is Anti-Snob

Some people don’t like to shop because they can sense pretentious, judging eyes from salespeople or from snobby customers. At Target, everyone’s on the same mission: to get good clothes and not spend a ton of money. Nobody is trying to intimidate anyone with a fancy label.

4. Target’s return policy rules

You have THREE MONTHS to return it! And you can return it anywhere. So, take home that Peplum Blazer zip jacket. If you still hate it in 90 days, get your refund and spend it on organic coffee beans. (Yes, they have that, too).

5. There’s one, like, 10 minutes from you.

And if you (and your Target) are in the Bay Area, look me up — maybe I can help you out!

jillnmegifReady for your own Style-Up?

I won’t hold your hand, but I will guard the fitting room door.

Live in the bay area? A Style-up is painless. Maybe even fun. And it might help you land a date / job / both at the same time. Email Me and we’ll get you on your way!

Outside of the Bay Area? Through the miracle of the interwebs, we can arrange an on-line consultation. You’ll end up with a handful of great items, some new looks, and a spring in your step. Click to Email Me.

Want to See More Style-Stories?

Weekend Look #2 (or, Why You Should Wear a Blazer to the Airport): 30 Days of Writing. Episode 9/30

fullfhotThis is day 9 of a New Year’s Resolution.

Coming home from work, we take off the work clothes and we put on the comfy-clothes. Jeans. T-shirt. Sneakers. And for many, that’s what they wear (or some version of that) from Friday evening to Sunday night.

But many of us leave the comforts of the sofa and venture out into the world. We go out for brunch, we take walks, maybe if we live in the Bay Area, we take a little road trip and do a little wine tasting. Or maybe we need to catch an early flight  and while we’d like to look styley in row 23, we don’t want it to be at the expense of comfort.

“We” clearly need to find something that walks the line. Or the horizontal stripes, as the case may be.

On the one hand, you can do one of my favorite looks: the causal sweater and tie. Paired with dark denim, you’ll be sitting in coach, better dressed than anyone in first class.

closeupBut if you’re not in the mood for a sweater, try this one: pair some dark-patterned pants (slim fitting and properly tailored) with a polo shirt (again, slim fitting — stick to black, white, or navy). Add a pair of Chuck Taylors and the final touch, your Styley-Yet-Comfy Banner of Victory: the Knit Blazer.

Knit blazers are a hybrid a blazer/jacket and either a sweater or a (wait for it) sweatshirt. Yes, a blazer can be made of sweatshirt material. That’s like ice cream being made of Pizza. Too good to be true. But it is true. Roll the sleeves up for a “yes, there’s turbulence, but I’m nonchalant about it” look. Pop the collar for a “yes, I know I need to put my laptop in its own bin” look.

You’ll look so well put together, you might bag a complimentary ginger-ale. Or maybe the phone number of a jet-setting Food Blogger. And if nothing else, It’ll protect your elbows from the hairy arms of the guy in 23B.

Bow Ties 101

If you don’t already wear a bow-tie, well, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.

Perhaps you have an image in your head that bow ties are for:

chemist with bow tie

Professor of theology

A) professors of theology

cat chemist


B) chemists

hipster v2


C) hipsters

D) Adorable children

Adorable child with bow tie.

Adorable child with bow tie

E) Dr. Who

Dr. Who

Dr. Who


But my personal research indicates that bow ties are:

A) fun

b) a little alternative

c) able to net compliments from cute baristas and bartenders.

Bow tie are for everyone.

Rules to Follow for an Optimal Bow Tie Experience

What not to do.

What not to do.

It’s most effective to start your bow-tie adventure with “what not to do.”

See image on left.




Now, the “dos.”

1. Pair a bow tie with a slim shirt shirt / jacket. 

Yes, I always prescribe slim shirts, but it goes double for bow-tie days. In the case of a bow tie, the only thing dividing “geezer chic” from “geezer” is whether everything fits you properly.

Go slim or go home.

This J. Crew outfit nails it. It's light, slim, and very much on point.

This J. Crew outfit nails it. It’s light, slim, and very much on point.

2. Go with a fabric other than shiny silk. 

You'd jump, too, if you owned this gear.

You’d jump, too, if you owned this gear.






I recommend linen or cotton, because they’re light and casual. Wool is great for cooler weather.

Shiny silk is a little… middle school marching band.

3. Go small.

Huge butterfly bow ties are for your “eccentric” uncle. For you, it’s compact and streamlined.

And lastly, the clip on / pre-tied controversy solved. 

Pre-tied bow tie: suspiciously perfect. Avoid.

Pre-tied bow tie: suspiciously perfect. Avoid.

Q: Clip on?

A: Never. Ever.

Q: Pre-tied?

A: Only if it’s thick wool. A thick-wool bow tie’s material will conceal the suspicious perfection of a pre-tied knot. Anything else will say, “I’m committing to this bow tie thing only halfway.”

And we don’t do things halfway around here.

Sold on the bow tie thing, but not sure where to start? Here are some places to begin poking around.

Forage Bow Ties: On point, especially with their denim tie.

The Hill-side: everything they make is simple, clean, and classy.

General Knot: would you like a tie made out of material salvaged from a WWII-era haberdashery? Yeah, you do.

Now, a word about ties by Thom Browne.

Remember what I said about avoiding silk? This doesn’t apply for Thom Browne. The silk is luxurious, with a buttery, matte finish. Every single tie he designs is on point: wool, linen, cotton, and even silk.

ebay: a great place to start looking for a Thom Browne bow tie. Use the “follow that search” feature, and with a little persistence, you’ll nab a tie that retails for over a hundred dollars for around $30.

Black Fleece Sale: reliably, you can nab one here for 50 or 60 dollars, and it’s well worth it.

me in bow tie

Now you have your bow tie. How do you put the damn thing on?

This diagram aint pretty, but it’s how I learned. If you’re the movie-watching type, Youtube is loaded with how-to videos, all up your alley.

See something you like and want a second opinion?

Style For Dorks is here for you!


Email Me with a link to the site, and I’ll give you a yay or a nay!



Mash It Up: Cold, Warm – Low, High

Cozy top. Cold toes.

Cozy top. Cold toes.

Two equal and opposite rules apply in all areas of the aesthetic.

  • Observe the categories.

  • Mash up the categories.


Wisconsin Captiol Building (Madison) Observes the Categories

Part of what makes this building attractive to the eye, for example, is the purity of the design. To a student of architecture, sure, the neoclassical design contains elements of various historical periods. But to my rather untrained eye,  the constancy, the balance, and the univocality of the building is what pleases my eye.

[That, and the fact that this building is about two blocks from the Great Dane;  this beacon of democracy actually resuscitates fond memories of undergraduate drinking and the eating of too many onion rings.]


The Contemporary Jewish Museum, SF, Mashes Up the Categories

On the other hand, this building, located in my second-favorite city, intentionally blends straight lines with shocking angles. A re-purposed electrical station is mashed up with an avante-garde Borg-like cube.


The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Western Wing: Resistance is Futile

It’s not as pretty. But it’s more fun to look at. While it’s clear that the first building is a place where committees argue over policies, the second building intrigues us,  makes us wonder what’s inside.

From Buildings to your Style

don draper

When putting an outfit together, you can observe either principal. Honor to the rules, perfectly. That’s what people mean when they say a suit (or someone’s taste) is flawless. He is or she is a vessel for age-old awesomeness to reside within.

Mash It Up

On the other hand, you can mash it up. As I mentioned last week, you can wear a tie to the park. If you do it right.

You can wear a snuggly-looking sweater with summery-looking chinos. fullsizeredpants

sweaterntieredpantsprofileA tie, cut from rough-textured canvas can sport classic, almost stuffy patterns – like paisley.

harris tweedSneakers can be made from Harris Tweed.

And altogether, you get a Libeskind-esque mash-up of old, new, high, low, serious, fun,

And all around awesome.







Weekend Look #1 – (or: Why you should wear a tie to the park)

ingreen3“What tradition from the past that’s faded away would you like to bring back?”

A 12th grader pulled this question from a box of conversation-prompts called “Table Topics,”  and my first-period class all took turns reminiscing about nap-time and recess and trick-or-treating.

When it was my turn, I lamented a tradition that was long gone before I was born:

On weekends, people used to dress up for relaxing.


Gramps as a young dandy (no family resemblance at all).

If you look at iconic pictures of the Kennedys on Vacation, Ole Timey Hikers from the 20s, and this picture of my Grandpa when he was a dashing young dandy, they all have something in common:

They’re all dressed for leisure. And they all look awesome.

I understand the desire to dress down. We all know that walking in the door after a long day and immediately dropping trou is one of life’s simple pleasures.

But after that, most men forget the next step: put on an outfit that says, “It’s time to chill in style.”

Chilling In Style: What’s In It For You?

A caveat: yes, a t-shirt and jeans might be physically more comfortable to wear on a walk on a sunny Saturday afternoon. But so would wearing an undershirt, boxers, and those toe-shoes. And you’re not doing that any time soon.

Chilling on the Island of La Grade Jatte. Do you see any Crocs?

Chilling on the Island of La Grade Jatte. Do you see any tank tops?

In “Chilling in Style” duds, you’ll get a compliment from the cute clerk at the corner store. You’ll get a “hm!” look from the barista at the cafe. You’ll get a “wowee” from your significant other.

And you’ll feel awesome.

How do I do it?

1. If it’s summer, wear a tie made out of a light material – cotton or linen. If it’s winter, wear wool or a knit cotton.

2. Wear shoes that are clean and sporty or classy but comfortable. No running shoes. 

3. Mix dress-up an dress-down. Don’t wear the jacket from your “power-suit.” Wear a slim fitting blazer made of casual material or a really nice, light sweater. Wear bright, fun colors with dark jeans or a simple, white shirt with colored chinos.

4. Pick a hat that fits you perfectly, and that doesn’t have unnecessary stitching or detailing.

5. Don’t be afraid to work on your “chilling in style” outfit, swap elements in and out, until you love it. Then, remember how you did it (with an unapologetic selfie), and trot it out every so often.

6. Most importantly – everything must fit. Don’t cut corners with baggy pants or tent-like shirts.

Weekend Look #1


Chilling in Style


in park



Hat: from a bin at Rainbow Grocery. Try Goorin Bros for a nice selection. Get something simple and classic.

Sweater and tie: Black Fleece

Jeans: Levis Made and Crafted  

Sneakers: These are from Fluevog, but alas, they’re out of production. Try some nice, white, low-top Chucks.




Style For Dorks

bio pic solareWhat this blog IS NOT:

It’s not for connoisseurs, fashionistos, or people who are “fashion foward.”

It’s not full of “clothing-porn.” No close-ups of of fancy fabrics – no donegal, no tattersoll. Whatever that is.

It will have zero shots of metrosexual models imitating poses copped from GQ.

It will not talk much about what is “in,” nor what is “right now.”

It will not fawn over incredibly expensive, Italian labels – nor extol the wonders of $300 work-shirts from boutiques that smell like Musk mixed with Road Tar.

* * *

Who this blog is for:

You saw a few episodes of Mad Men and you wondered how you can look that sharp without drinking your first Manhattan before 11am.

You used to play  8-hour Dungeons and Dragons campaigns in your friend’s basement – and you’re moderately concerned that this biographical nugget from the past isn’t hard to believe, purely based on how you continue to dress, fifteen years later.

You like to learn new things, but you’ve never learned much about style. You prefer to learn new coding language, but you could be persuaded to learn something about the power of a knit tie.

You prefer to prioritize the practical over the obsessive. As in, “How do I dress sharper without too much fuss?”

Your girlfriend / wife / significant other sometimes comments about how nice you’d look in [fill in the blank]. You generally say something along the lines of, “Mm-hm.”

You have a big date coming up. Or a big meeting. You just got a big promotion…or want to dress like you deserve one.

You’re turning 30. Or 40.

* * *

What we’re going to do here

1. Simple lists of things to donate to the closest Salvation Army.

2. Simple lists of things to buy two of.

3. Some guidelines for how to put together a decent outfit. And some guidelines for how to put together an outfit that will nab a double take from the right person.

4. An occasional link to a good deal.

5. A smattering of style nerdiness in case you’re curious.

I’m not going to hold your hand – but I will guard the fitting room door.