Men: The 3 Best Sneakers for Your Casual Looks

If you wear a suit everyday to work, you’re probably happy when you can throw it all off and put on something casual. Maybe you dress casually everyday for work. Either way, wearing casual shoes can be tricky. In case you haven’t heard me say it before, unless you’re a personal fitness coach or you work at a gym, athletic shoes are only for when you’re working out or playing sports. They are not for everyday or work life.

Where does this leave you when not dressed up for work or other events? There are many footwear options in between dress shoes and athletic shoes. Let’s focus on 1 step above athletic shoes which are sneakers. They are tennis shoes you wouldn’t wear to work out in and they’re not dressy enough for suits or dress pants. You can wear them with jeans for a stylish look and not feel guilty with how comfortable they are.

Here are 3 of the newest sneakers that will look great with many of your casual looks.

Let’s start out with my favorite embellishment, studs. These gold studded Saint Laurent black leather low tops are great with many of your outfits. Yes, the studs give them a hint of attitude but they’re refined enough to wear all over town. You probably already have many things in your wardrobe that go with black. These may become your signature piece.

image of Saint Laurent Skate studded leather trainers

 

Your next sneaker option is a very affordable brown leather look sneaker looks great with tons of casual looks and is a neutral so it goes with most colors. If you’re vegan or stay away from real leather, this shoe is a smart option. No leather but it’s preppy depending on what you wear it with.

image of brown leather look sneaker

 

Our third sneaker is not for the faint of style. If you don’t count yourself as someone with great style, now is the time to step into the ring. This shoe will take you places. It’s a Bottega Veneta black woven leather high top with a ski boot multiple buckle closure. That’s quite a mouthful and it provides quite an eyeful. It’s extremely fashion forward without being over the top. You could wear these to many of your casual events and have both men and women admiring them and asking where you got them. Step up and show them your style IQ.

image of bottega veneta high top sneaker

As you can see, sneakers provide much more style than athletic shoes with just as much comfort. Your whole look counts from head to toe so show the world that every detail counts.

Images from retailers. Click on images to explore further.

Men: How to Wear Radiant Orchid, the Pantone Color of 2014

Radiant Orchid, purple, is the color of 2014. Of course you can ignore this and keep on keeping on, or you can take notice and add it to your wardrobe. Why? Because people/women love color and you’ll get noticed and receive many compliments wearing it. It’s also a conversation starter because you can mention, when you get complimented, that you’re wearing the color of 2014. How many guys will be able to say that?

Without further ado, here are some fashion items you can add to your wardrobe and wear all year:

Let’s just go right for the gusto and start with a purple Hugo Boss sportcoat. Yes, seriously. It’s a linen/wool blend so you can wear it all year round in comfort. You can dress it up for work or dress it down with jeans for semi-casual evenings out or just going places on the weekend. If you have an open mind, you will get a lot of wear out of this and will get compliments every time you wear it.

image of purple BOSS HUGO BOSS Sportcoat & Hudson Jeans Skinny Jeans

Next we’ll talk about a radiant orchid cashmere v-neck sweater which with all of this wonderful winter weather, you’ll get plenty of wear from. You can pair it with a sportcoat, dress shirt and tie, or you can wear it with a t-shirt and jeans for a casual yet put together weekend look. Either way, you can’t lose.

image of John W. Nordstrom® radiant orchid V-Neck Cashmere Sweater

Don’t leave your bottom half out with these purple cotton slim flat-front pants. They’ll look great with all of your semi-casual outfits and to top it all off, are machine washable so there’s no dry clean bill. Whoop! You can pair these with neutrals or go all out and wear with even more color such as gold/yellow, orange, green or even red. Yep, red. Or you can go tone on tone with a lighter shade of purple on top.

image of French Connection 'Machine Gun' purple Flat Front Pants

Are you still on board? This next purple wardrobe item will stretch you a bit but I’m confident you can work it. These radiant orchid spectator shoes are suede and fabric. They will make a statement with any outfit you pair them with. Unless you’re used to wearing a lot of color, you may want to stick with wearing them with neutrals. Go on, step out of your style rut and take a chance.

image of Moods of Norway 'Ullern' radiant orchid Spectator ShoeIf you are a bit timid of going all out with radiant orchid, you can add just a touch with this plaid cashmere scarf. Mixed with charcoal grey, it should go with your winter coats. Once you get used to this tad bit of purple, you’ll be ready to incorporate some of the other pieces we’ve talked about.

image of Andrew Stewart 'Amicale Jura' purple Cashmere Scarf

So many choices to get you started. Which one will you initially adapt?

Images from www.nordstrom.com. Click on images to explore further.

Men Only: Grey Canvas Brogues

Men, is your shoe wardrobe up to date? Yes, you should have an actual wardrobe of shoes. Not just a couple of pairs you wear every other day. Your shoes say just as much about you as your clothes. If your clothes could use some work, let’s start with the shoes and work our way up.

These handsome grey brogues are just the ticket to get that wardrobe started. These aren’t heavy winter shoes. They’re shoes that can be worn all year around so you can get more wear (but not too much) from them. They’re made of lightweight military canvas with suede toe, heel and lace overlay. Tip: spray them with suede spray before wearing to get much more wear out of them and keep them looking great.

If you work in a casual environment, these are perfect for putting some jazz into your step. If you work in a semi-dressy environment and don’t need to wear suits everyday, you know that these look great with all of your work looks.

Click on the picture to check them out in more detail.

 

Men: Turtleneck Snowflake Sweater

Men, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to find things to wear that look festive without looking goofy or just dumb. I found a sweater for you that you can wear to casual parties and other family events that you will actually get compliments from. It’s a black turtleneck sweater with a geometric snowflake pattern. If you want to go bold, pair it with colored jeans or pants (you can even wear white). Add a funky pair of non-athletic shoes or boots and you’re all set.

Feliz Navidad!

image of snowflake patterned turtleneck sweater

 

What Should I Wear for Thanksgiving Dinner?

It’s Thanksgiving week. Have you decided what you’ll be wearing to Thanksgiving dinner? Now if you’re hosting and cooking dinner for your family, you’ll probably wear something different than if you’re invited to a non-relative’s house. If you have a very casual family, you’ll probably wear something different than if you have a family that dresses up in most situations.

Now I’m even more confused! You just made my week more stressful! Let me take the stress out of it by showing you some examples of different outfits for different Thanksgiving dinner situations.

Semi-Dressy

First we’ll talk about the semi-dressy Thanksgiving dinners where jeans and a t-shirt just won’t do. If you’ve been invited to someone’s house for a sumptuous feast, you can get dolled up without needing to worry about getting food all over it since you’re not hosting. Since your host/hostess has done most of the work, show your respect and appreciation by looking fabulous.

This is a very pretty satin blouse (feel free to change color to something lighter that coordinates with pants) which doesn’t have a lot of detail so you can add a statement necklace. The pants are fun, refined leopard print made out of a silk blend. You could of course wear another refined (read no denim) printed material. The look you’re going for here is sophisticated with a little bit of sass.

The next dressy outfit is for the hostess who has done quite a bit of the cooking (even if you’re having everyone bring something, you’ve still done a ton of work). You’ll be doing more last minute things in the kitchen so you definitely don’t want to wear white or a pastel solid that could show any drips that may happen. This is a moment for you to shine and be the belle of the ball. This brushstroke print sheath dress won’t show any drips or slips and will provide you with many compliments.

Since you’ll be on your feet quite a bit, if you can’t stand the thought of heels, choose a pair of dressy flats or kitten heels. To complete this look, you really just need a pair of earrings since the print speaks for itself.

Casual

Next we’ll switch to a more casual Thanksgiving dinner. Even if this is with family, let’s put a bit of effort into how you look. If you’re the most dressed up person in the group, so be it. You can start a new tradition! This look is for when you’re going over to one of your relative’s homes for dinner. It’s always better to have a little bling and this sweater does just that in an understated way. The best thing about this top is that it has an easy fit so you don’t need to hold your stomach in the whole day. The look shows leather pants and of course you can do that, or you can switch them out for dark wash jeans (no holes or rips). Add some festive earrings and booties, and you’re all set.

Last but not least, let’s talk about a casual hostess outfit. You’ve done tons of work to make this dinner possible, so let’s make sure you look as fabulous as the food tastes. This look I chose is all about the sweater/cardigan. It speaks for itself with an understated sequin leopard print. It has 3/4 length sleeves so you won’t be dipping them into the gravy. You can either wear this with a knee length skirt or dark wash jeans with no rips or holes. Add a pair of fun flats and a pair of coordinating earrings and you’re the hostess with the mostest.

Formal

I’m throwing in one more Thanksgiving dinner option at no charge. This look is if you’re going to a more formal dinner that’s at dinner time, around 6pm or 7pm. You are not the host but you are an esteemed guest and need to look the part. I’ve chosen 2 dresses (so it’s really 2 options). One is quite form fitting and you’ll need to wear undergarments that pull you in such as Spanx. The other is more forgiving, although just as lovely. You’ll be able to enjoy the food and not worry about everyone seeing every single bite you take.

   

Really, choosing what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner is as easy as choosing semi-dressy, casual or quite dressy. Choose your scenario and put together an outfit using the example. Easy as pie! Happy Thanksgiving!

Images from www.bergdorfgoodman.com. Click on the images to explore further.

Men: 3 Casual Preppy Prepster Looks

One of my clients recently told me that their style motto for this fall/winter is preppy. Every season they have a motto or catch phrase of the image they want to project that season. This is a great idea so let’s explore some looks for you that can give you the same type of image.

Preppy never goes out of style because it’s a classic look. Preppy clothes have characteristics such as stripes, plaid, argyle, nautical and equestrian. Boat shoes and loafers are also big preppy mainstays. Colors range anywhere from pastels to bold and vibrant.  In other words, you have lots of options with preppy style.

We’ll look at looks that will work for the more casual areas of your life.

This first look, from Ralph Lauren, starts with a cabled crewneck and includes a button down shirt and corduroys. If orange isn’t your color, you can always switch it out for a different color such as purple or green. I don’t think the boots look that good except in snow so I’d change them out for sneakers or low boots. I’ve includes some chukka boots that go well.

Kelby Split-Suede Chukka - Ralph Lauren Casual - RalphLauren.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next look, from L.L. Bean,  is comfortable, casual yet you’ll still look put together in it (not business or dressy put together, but casual put together). The look starts with a henley sweater and includes a plaid button down and jeans. The sweater comes in a handful of colors and the plaid shirt can also be switched out to another plaid to accommodate your coloring. A pair of comfy yet color coordinated sneakers (they call them deck shoes) finish off the look.

Outfit 1
Bean's Canvas Deck Shoes, Lace-Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our third preppy look, from J. Crew, is quintessential preppy with a button down shirt, and cardigan with elbow patches. The cardigan has the option for a monogram which is a must-do. It makes it look quite a bit more high end. You can add the tie as shown for more interest and to dress it up a bit for work or going to dinner, you can switch out the jeans for khakis. Or, gasp, you could wear a pair of colored pants such as purple or green. Awesome! I’ve paired the outfit with a pair of plain-toe bluchers which you can wear with jeans or khakis.

Rustic merino elbow-patch cardigan

Limited-edition Alden® for J.Crew plain-toe bluchers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any of these looks will provide you with a put together, prepped (pun intended) for anything appearance that people will appreciate. Remember to include color in your wardrobe. You will get many compliments when you use it with educated abandon.

Images are from retailers. Click on them to explore further.

 

 

 

Men: Shoes for Fourth of July

Guys, have you thought about what you’re wearing on July 4th? Yeah, I didn’t think so (sorry to the few that have). Let’s talk about the shoes. Just because you’re probably going to be attending casual events doesn’t mean you can wear athletic shoes. Save those for working out. We’ll keep you comfortable but stylish with a pair of perforated leather sneakers. They’re casual, yet stylish.

Pair these with an ensemble of blue or white and you’re all set.

Happy 4th!

 

Image is from www.saksfifthavenue.com. Click image to explore further.

Bally - Perforated Leather Sneaker

 

Men: International Dressing

There is a misconception that when conducting international business, you can dress casually because other countries dress just as, or even more casually than the USA.

This is untrue, with much of the world, including countries with very high temperatures, dressing much more professional than most Americans. Males in many countries routinely wear suits which show their level of position and serious attitude towards business.

Image by Jobro

Color is another important consideration when dressing internationally. In the US, white means pure, clean and honest. In other countries, it is known as death and for funerals. Purple is another color that in the US means royalty or affluence and in other countries means mourning. Blue, in some countries is also an indication of death, where in the US, it represents loyalty, honesty and hard work.

Research the countries (or call me) you will be doing business with to ensure you project the correct image and feeling.  If you don’t you could lose a business opportunity.