Monday, November 30, 2015

Five Timeless Bags for Men

Some things become overdone when worn too frequently- sunglasses, shoes, a jacket- but a great bag is something that, when done in a classic silhouette, can be worn day after day and season after season. A bag was essential when living in the city for carrying around a full days worth of "stuff", however, I continue to use a bag daily even while living in a more suburban setting. It just becomes very practical and easy to grab and go on my way out the door, knowing that everything I should need while at work is inside.

If you purchase a bag that is built upon craftsmanship and designed for timeless style, you will be able to enjoy it year round and season after season. Perhaps you pack it away one year and pull it out the next, still as "in" as it was the day you purchased it. From attaché to holdalls, the below are a few curations that are classic and timeless from brands that are known in the leather goods arena. Invest in one of these, and you will enjoy it for years to come.

Prada Saffiano Leather Portfolio- simple, whether for running around town or transporting documents for work and meetings - $1460 Neiman Marcus

Bottega Venta Woven Shopper- iconic of the Italian marque, this tote is great for work, travel, or play. - $3850 Bergdorf Goodman

Coach Bleecker Backpack- a slight rugged tone makes the backpack a versatile silhouette for many different individual styles- $698 Coach

Ralph Lauren Suede Weekend Duffle- whether you are going near or going far, a great holdall is a must. - $1250 Ralph Lauren

Globe-Trotter Attaché Case- reminiscent of James Bond, this handmade attaché will turn heads for decades. - $2250 Mr. Porter

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bespoke Menswear from Knot Standard

Bespoke or custom menswear from online retailers is nothing new in the world of men's fashion. In fact, I have tried some of these companies and additionally have seen presentations from companies in this area of the menswear market

In a time of men's fashion trends where silhouettes are becoming ever more tailored and refined, I think the need for affordable custom or bespoke products that are easily accessible is ever increasing. I know that I have a challenge finding shirts that do not balloon or pants that fit at both the waist and legs appropriately. While high-end designers tend to have superb fits, sometimes we are not always looking to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new piece for our wardrobe. 

I was introduced to one of the fastest growing custom menswear brands, Knot Standard, and thanks to them, was able to experience their product and experience firsthand. Let me start by simply saying, if you are in the market for affordable, quality menswear, whether for work or play, and a great fit, Knot Standard meets all of these needs!

 The company was founded in 2010, and I love the entrepreneurial spirit behind it. It has evolved to one of the fastest growing companies as ranked by Inc. Magazine, with showrooms in New York, Washington D.C.,  Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Dubai. Additionally, spaces are slated to open in Chicago and Los Angeles in the coming months. 

Personal designers are on-hand in the showrooms to assist with fittings and selections, but the product is also available online. With that being said, what is the online experience like? In one word, I would sum up my experience as effortless. 

There are two major aspects of the online experience, namely selecting your garment and inputting your measurements to ensure the perfect fit. I, of course, find the first part to  be the hardest as I want everything! In the end, I opted for a classic blazer in an iconic herringbone pattern. 

After selecting your piece, there are two choices for getting your measurements into the Knot Standard system- building a 3D body scan using the computer's camera, or following a guided process of taking key measurements of your body so the computer can generate an image of your body, and as a result your pieces will be made to fit your exact measurements. I opted for the latter, and must say that the measurement process was very simple!

I really enjoyed the customization options Knot Standard gives you. For $375 you would not expect to be given the option to select the lining color, have a monogram, or working buttonholes; however, these are all options during the online customization process!

I received my blazer a few weeks after placing my order. It arrived in a nice garment bag, and when I opened the package to try on the piece, I was shocked. I have to be in honest in saying that I was a little skeptical of inputting various measurements and ending up with a blazer at this price point that would fit appropriately. Needless to say, when I slipped on the blazer, it fit like a glove! The fit truly rivals some of my $1,495 sport coats. 

With that being said, I encourage to move at a fast pace to check out Knot Standard!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Diptyque Fragrances for Personal and Home

While I do wear colognes throughout the entire year, I find myself consistently wearing fragrance throughout the fall and winter months. Perhaps this is because I'm attracted to more musky, woodsy scents that are nice compliments to these seasons. I also find myself burning candles regularly starting around this time of the year as well. 

With recent additions to my home and personal fragrance collections from one of my favorite perfumers, Diptyque, it is needless to say that good scents are on my mind! You probably will not open a magazine and see an ad for Diptyque or even glance up at a billboard with their name, however, this iconic French perfumer has been crafting quality fragrances since its inception in 1961. The brand has evolved to include a large olfactory range and products for both personal and the home. It is quite popular among the fashionable crowd as the highly recognizable "oval", unique to the brand" mixes well with an minimal interior designs.

As the fall season is underway and we will begin to slowly enter winter, seasonal scents come to mind such as the small of a warming, wood fire. I love the scent of a woodsy candle burning in the home on a chilly fall day. Needless to say, Diptyque makes one of the best fragrances of this nature. You can find their classic "Feu de Bois" burning in my house throughout the season. One of my reasons for loving Diptyque is the sheer array of fragrances that they offer. From relaxing "Feuille de Lavande" to the Feu de Bois described above, there really is something for any personality to love.

Fragrances make a great gift as the holiday season approaches as well. Do you find yourself burning more candles during the fall and winter seasons? What are your favorites?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Prepare Hair + Skin for Fall with American Crew

Perhaps it may not feel like fall just quite yet where you are- I know temperatures are going to be over 70 all week here; however, it is important to prepare you hair and skin for the dryness that comes with the fall and winter seasons.

 I am excited to share some great men's grooming tips provided by Patti Davenport, Shave Director at American Crew, that use a few key products from the American Crew line. I know my skin dries out from the hot air heat at home and at the office as well as the brutal temperatures that creep in during January and February.

Below are Patti's tips for getting your hair and skin ready for the dry season featuring three American Crew products that I use frequently, namely daily moisturizing shampoo, moisturizing shave cream, and molding clay.

Daily Moisturizing Shampoo:

Start off with American Crew Daily Moisturizing Shampoo, which contains botanical ingredients that are suitable for all skin and scalp types to nourish, calm and prevent the skin from over drying. Additionally, this product is a great cleanser for the face/beard as well as the scalp/hair. Helping to cleanse dead skin cells, debris, oil and environmental pollution from the surface of the skin and beard without over drying."

I use this shampoo on a daily basis, starting in the fall and it leaves my hair soft and refreshed. The product has a nice, light scent featuring key ingredients such as Rosemary and Thyme extracts as well as Chamomile extract.

Moisturizing Shave Cream:

I switched to this shave cream about a year ago, and have been very pleased with it. A good shave cream is essential. American Crew's cream features powerful antioxidants that protect and moisturize the skin. I found the cream to be pleasant against my skin and allowed the razor to slide smoothly over the skin. I love the scent of the eucalyptus is very refreshing!

For added protection, Patti recommends using Post-Shave cooling lotion, saying "Once you jump out of the shower, apply American Crew Post-Shave Cooling Lotion to the face, beard and any skin that is regularly exposed... nape, ears, etc. The ingredients of this lightweight moisturizer help to nourish, prevent and treat any minor skin inflammations, as well as maintain the correct PH on the surface of the skin.

Molding Clay:

Do you have a hairstyle that requires you to using styling clay daily or often? This may be the product you have been looking for. I found it to have a great hold and to not be too heavy like some other products I have used in the past.

White clay from the Paris Basin naturally heals and stimulates the scalp, making it good for men with sensitive skin and scalp. Other key ingredients include all-natural essential oils such as orange, peppermint, and spearmint.

All products available via American Crew
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