One for the Money, Two for the Show: The Blue Suede Shoes

Blue Suede Shoes

When Carl Perkins composed the song Blue Suede Shoes in 1955, he had no idea that it will be a big hit. As the legend goes, when Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley were on tour throughout the South, Cash suggested to Perkins that he write a song about blue suede shoes. He was reluctant at first, saying he does not know anything about shoes.

When Perkins played on a dance on December of 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between a song, Carl heard a loud voice saying, “Uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes!” He saw the boy wearing blue suede shoes which had a scuff mark. “Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes,” thought Carl. So he composed the lyrics.

The song skyrocketed to number 1 when the legendary Elvis Presley sang it on national television. The rest is as they say history. The blue suede shoe was cemented as a staple in men’s wardrobe.

Wearing blue suede shoes is not that hard to pull off. We are just victims of prejudice that men’s footwear is limited to the browns and the blacks. Of course, just like any other articles of clothing, the blue suede shoe is subject to certain rules like color coordination. Nonetheless, you don’t really have to worry about it because blue is a basic men’s color.

Blue Suede Shoes with Yellow Laces

Blue Suede Chukka Boots with Yellow-Orange laces.

Tri-Color Suede Shoes

Multi-Colored Suede.

Blue Suede Shoes on White Pants

Blue Suede shoes on white pants.

Blue Suede Shoes on Khakis

Cool outfit! The touch of blue is perfect with mute khakis.

Matthew McConaughey Blue Suede Shoes on Red Carpet

Err… but you just can’t wear it all the time Matthew McConaughey! Especially on the red carpet.

How to clean it

Well, you can knock me down / Step in my face / Slander my name / All over the place. / Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh, / Honey, lay off of my shoes. 

Even the legendary Elvis Presley can’t tolerate a smudge on his blue suede shoe! Suede shoes in general are very difficult to clean. Because of the nappy surface, a suede shoe can stain even with a little splash of water. You just can’t evade the scuff on your shoe. One way or another, you are going to have to wash it.

Having it dry cleaned is the best way to go. If you’re cost-cutting, you can try these cleaning remedies at home:

  1. With a clean bath towel, gently rub the surface of the shoe to bring up the nap.
  2. Use a clean pencil eraser to remove small dry stains. Avoid any commercially produced stain removers such as bleach, soaps and detergent.
  3. Lightly dab vinegar on stubborn stains.
  4. If the suede shoes got a little soaked with rain, let it dry in room temperature. Never expose it to direct heat.
  5. Regularly brush your shoe with a wire suede brush.

A blue suede shoe can bring color in your wardrobe. Nowadays, you don’t get to see many guys who are brave enough to sport one. Channel your inner Elvis and strut it out.

Your Second Skin: A Modern Man’s Guide to Shirt Fit

Taylor Lautner in GQ

Nothing looks as good as a guy in a well-tailored shirt. You may not have the body of a god, but wearing a well-fitted shirt is the next best thing. Proper fitting is the most important aspect of style. You can have the luxury of buying branded and expensive shirts, but it all goes down the drain if it’s too big or too small for your comfort.

thisfellow.com

thisfellow.com

There are certain rules to be followed in a well-fitted shirt. If you want to alter a specific shirt, you can’t just go to your tailor and demand something to be done. The proper thing to do is to consult him on the right measurements. After all, he’s the professional. Nonetheless, we know for a fact that not everyone has time for that. Here are some sizing rules of thumb when purchasing a shirt.

Neck and Collar

2 Finger Rule

When it comes to the basic measurements, you should be able to insert two of your fingers in your collar when the top button is fastened. The style of the collar should be appropriate for the one who wears it and the event on which it is worn. When considering the body type, men with longer necks are advised to pick high collars while men with full necks should wear lower collars.

Fit of sleeves and cuff

Sleeve Length

The length of the sleeves is measured from the center of the back yoke to the end of the cuff. Cuffs should fit closely while leaving room for movement. Here you have the liberty to pick a slightly longer sleeve. You may not sense it, but shirts usually shrink vertically.

Proper Cuffs

When closed, cuff should end at the base of your thumb where your arm and hand meet. Always consider that at least 1 cm of the cuff ends should be visible underneath a suit sleeve.

Body and Shoulders

Proper Fit

Almost half-a-decade ago, you wouldn’t find any tapered shirt in the menswear department of your local stores. Today, we are lucky for having a wide array of choices. There are 3 options to consider when choosing a shirt in so far as body fit is concerned: the classic, the slim and the contemporary. The classic is the default measurement worn by our ancestors. It is traditional, a bit loose, and ideal on almost all sorts of body shape. The slim is a very modern fit silhouetting the body. It looks good on dudes who have a medium to athletic build. The contemporary fit is the best of both worlds. It is fitted at the waist, but not as tight as the slim fit. The safest way to go is the contemporary fit.

The fit on your shoulder is very basic. Make sure that the armhole’s seam fall at the edge of your shoulder.

Tucked-in Zone

Zack Gordon in White House Down Premiere

Zack Gordon should have at least tucked his shirt. Taken from the premiere of White House Down

Never tuck a shirt meant to be un-tucked and vice-versa. If the shirt’s length is longer than your fly, it’s meant to be tucked. Another way of knowing is by checking where the spare buttons of your shirt are stitched. If it is located at the side of your shirt (right above the hem gusset), it’s meant to be un-tucked. If it is at the bottom of your button packet, then it is meant to be tucked in.

Knowing how to pick a well-fitted shirt says a lot about a person. It means he knows what he wants and gets it. It means he knows and understands himself. We all have different body types but the clothes should fit the man and not the other way around. Otherwise, the clothes wear you instead of you wearing the clothes.

Should Men Wear Paisley? Yes!

Paisley Pattern

Let’s face it, not all man can handle paisley. It’s one of those things that either create or destroy a man’s image. You need the guts, the balls, and all the courage in this world to effectively sport one. Indeed, only the boldest men can give credence to this wonderful print called paisley.

Paisley Outfit

Can you handle it?

Paisley’s roots can be traced all the way from India’s boteh patterns. Boteh is a Persian word meaning bush or shrub. It may also connote palm leaf, cluster of leaves (thus the repeated pattern) and flower bud.

Boteh

Here’s the usual boteh pattern from India

Today, it can be associated with those intricate patterns resembling a tear drop or a Kidney. The term “paisley” is derived from a town in Scotland where a large amount of it were produced in the 1800s.

The Beatles Paisley Everywhere

Paisleys overload!

By the 1960s the paisley print became the hottest pattern in every man’s wardrobe. Paisley became synonymous with the late 60s and 70s. The Beatles’ helped a lot in its resurgence in the popular scene.

Why scared? Is it because it is associated with the 70s and everything in it can be tacky? Well, it depends.

The hard and fast rule when wearing paisley is to mute everything else that comes with it. If you’re quite a beginner in wearing one, try to keep it at its minimum. Limit the pattern to small pieces of clothing like your tie, your pocket square or your socks.

Paisley Suit

Paisleys on suits can look good on this model, but leave it to the professionals. Keep your paisleys at a minimum

You can also check out some monochromatic paisley in ties and other garments.

Paisley Bow Tie

Bowties are cool, and it gets extra-cooler when in paisley.

Red & Blue Paisley Pocket Square

Paisley-printed pocket squares are the best!

White Paisley Tie

This tie is clean and sophisticated yet with a dash of cool paisley design

Blue Scattered Paisley Tie

Check out the scattered paisley! It looks good on anything!

Brown Paisley Tie

Some just can’t pull off this look

Paisley Pocket Square

Here’s another detail on pocket squares! It just adds a spark in the whole outfit.

Paisley Scarf & Pocket Square

Can you pull off the prints in this outfit?

Blue & Orange Paisley Tie

What we love about paisley is how it gives richness and texture to the whole outfit. Men’s wear is all about the details and adding a dash of paisley in your ensemble can give spice to it.

The Charismatic Chambray Shirt

The Incomparable Chambray

Back in 2005, the Chambray shirt was unheard of. As a matter of fact, according to Google, the only Chambray that was frequently searched back then was a certain hotel in France named Chambray-lès-Tours. By 2009, the Chambray fever boomed when fashion bloggers started sporting them. The trend gained so much momentum that by 2013 it surpassed the Chambray-lès-Tours keyword.

Keyword Comparison for Chambray

“Chambray Shirt” is in blue while “Chambray les tours” is in red. By 2012 their keyword searches went head-to-head.

What is chambray and why the sudden resurrection?

Chambray Fabric

It is a lightweight fabric, usually made of cotton that is plain weaved. Being thin and fine, it is perfect for summer and spring where the temperature is higher. Chambray is actually the type of material used to make the shirt. Just like the khaki, it is the textile fabric not a piece of clothing. There seems to be a wrong connotation that a chambray shirt is the knock-off version of denim. It’s more than that.

Kanye West Wearing Chambray Shirt with Denim

Kanye West wearing Chambray on denim.

Chambray and denim are often confused with one another. Both are usually colored blue and one may not distinguish the other with just a single glance. By touching them, however, you will realize that Chambray is the lighter of these two materials. Denim is usually used on pants, shorts and jackets while the chambray is often used on shirts and other accessories like ties and hats. The material can even be used on shoes.

Red Chambray Tie

Red Chambray Tie

Chambray Caps by Stussy

Chambray caps by Stussy

Chambray Kicks by Bathing Ape

Chambray Kicks by Bathing Ape

The fabric goes all the way back to the 1500s where it was used by the Elizabethans to stiffen their neck ruffs. It was also used in petticoats, curtains and wall hangings. When the availability of the fabric became prevalent, it lost its charm to the royals but became a staple in the ordinary household. Thus, the chambray shirt was widely known as a work-man’s uniform, often associated with blue-collar job workers. However, in the 50s, one style icon by the name of James Dean sported the chambray as part of his rebellious and disillusioned image.

James Dean in Chambray

James Dean in a timeless Chambray classic

Chambray shirts are low-maintenance. You can put it on without having it pressed if you want to go for that rebelled look. It is also versatile in a way that when ironed (sometimes starched), it can be worn in more formal occasions.

Formal Chambray

What a dapper!

The chambray is not limited to the color blue. It also looks good in other colors such as…

Pink Chambray Shirt

Pink;

Green Chambray Shirt

Green;

Purple Chambray Shirt

…and purple.

Heck, it even looks good with patterns.

Polka-Dotted Chambray Shirt

Pair it with Khaki’s. They’re just perfect for each other.

Chambray on Khakis

Chambray on Khakis by AdrianP

You can also pair it with white

Chambray on White

…or orange shorts.

Chambray on Orange Shorts

Via Tommy Rossi

And of course, the classic chambray on Denim is a timeless look!

Chambray on Denim

Chambray on Denim by Reinaldo Irizarry

Chambray is a good investment for your wardrobe. It is comfortable, versatile and most importantly, low-maintenance. Every guy looks good in ‘em! Give it a try.

Fashion Faux Pas: Common Suit Mistakes

Suits - Harvey Specter

Suits are considered the modern man’s second skin. And just like your own skin you want to look good in it. Indeed, a well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men. If you want to look good in a suit, take note of these common suit mistakes that can make or break your overall style.

Suit Mistake Convention

Is this a Suits Mistake Convention? (Credit to the owner of the photo)

Wrong Belt/Shoes Combo

Belt & Shoes

We have stressed before that when speaking about menswear, the carpets must always match the drapes. The color of your shoes must be of the same shade with your belt. There are no exceptions to this rule when it comes to formal wear. If you can’t find a good belt of the same shade with your shoes, then try donning some suspenders.

Backpacks

Backpack

If you’re always on the go, never partner your suit with a backpack. Not only does it look horrendous, but it also deforms the shoulder pads in your jacket. Hey, you don’t want to let that 20-dollar backpack ruin your 500-dollar suit!

Inappropriate Trousers

Mismatched Suit

It’s called a suit for a reason. If the jacket and the trouser are made together: they must get worn-out together and they must be disposed together. Never justify yourself that they’re both “black.” Chances are, when the camera flash hits your outfit, one is darker than the other.

Unfit and Baggy

Andre Agassi Baggy Suit

Never again…

There’s nothing more awkward than seeing a guy in an unfit and baggy suit. It’s like a child wearing his dad’s clothes. The suit should hug the body perfectly. The best way to acquire this is by going bespoke. The ready-made suits in your local department store are made for the mannequins. Your body is unique in every way so develop a good relationship with an excellent tailor.

Collar gap

Collar Gap

It shows that the suit you’re wearing is not yours.

This is one of those mistakes that once you realize, it cannot be unseen. It’s that gap the blazer’s collar and the shirt. You produce collar gaps when the jacket collar is too big for the wearer’s neck size. This happens because the blazer is from RTW or was poorly made.

Shoulder divots

Shoulder Divot

This is one fitting faux pas that you need to be aware of. These stubborn shoulder divots happen when the shoulder pads of the jacket are broader than your natural shoulder. When buying ready-to-wear, make sure that your shoulder snugs perfectly with the jacket. It can be very difficult, even for a well-experienced tailor, to alter shoulder jackets.

Button Rules

The bottom button should always be left alone. This menswear etiquette’s origin is unknown, but most experts would say that it is a tribute to King Edward VII. Legends say that King Edward VII became so plump that he can no longer fasten the last button of his waistcoat. To save the King from humiliation, everyone in his court did the same. The practice spread all over the world and became an unwritten rule among dapper men.

Buttons Unbuttoned

No matter how odd it may seem, there’s no harm in trying.

Mistakes are common and it happens to the best of us. It’s okay to commit anyone of these in your lifetime but that does not mean that you should never learn from it.

Now you know.

Hats, Hats, Hats: A Modern Man’s Guide to Headpiece

Mad Men - Don

When the 35th American President, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961, he made history in the fashion world with a single act. Not only did he immortalize the saying, “…ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country,” but also did away with hats in his first day in office. As the legend suggests, this small act of the former president slowly killed the hat industry.

John F. Kennedy Hat Legend

Suddenly, men of the 60s stopped wearing hats. Some would say that since then, the poor little accessory that kept a man’s head warm has been abandoned in the dark closet.

Bowler and Bowl Cut

From the bowler to the bowl-cut: the evolution of 60s man

Many believe that the days of hats are over. We disagree. Hats are back! Although not back in its glory days in formal wear, it is slowly gaining momentum in the casual wear.

Harry Styles Wearing a Fedora

Harry Styles of One Direction sporting a fedora. Can’t get any hipper than that!

Aside from protection from the sun, warming your head in cold weather, and hiding a bad-hair day, hats are very powerful in building an image. Now let us delve more into the wonderful world of men’s hats. Check out these awesome hats that are hip and classy at the same time.

The Fedora

Bruno Mars' Signature Look

The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. It gained popularity in 1924, after influential man of fashion, King Edward began sporting one. A handful of artists and celebrities have worn it becoming part and parcel of their image.

Michael Jackson's Signature Pose

Guess who?

Bowler, Derby, and Trilby…

These are all variations of men’s fedora. The names are sometimes used interchangeably and there’s only a minute difference between each of them. Trilby hats have smaller brims of no more than a 2″ as compared to other fedoras. Bowler hats, as the name suggest, have rounded crowns. Derby hats were coined as such after an American hatter noticed that many men sporting them are always present in English derby races. So it’s just a matter of nomenclature than style.

Al Pacino in Hat

That hat completes the Al Pacino swagger.

Panama

Panamas and Fedoras are confusingly similar. Nonetheless, the rim of a fedora curls up while the rim of a panama hat is straight. More importantly, panamas are often made from plaited leaves of the Toquila plant. Last year, the UNESCO declared panama’s weaving as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World.

Sir Ian McKellen in Panama Hat

Sir Ian Mckellen in a panama hat.

The Flat Cap

It is a rounded cap with a stiff brim and a small visor in front. It is traditionally made of wool, tweed and cotton. Just like the Fedora, the flat cap has a number of variations.

Brad Pitt in  Newsboy Cap

Brad Pitt in his signature hat

The Newsboy, Ascot, Flatcap, Gatsby…

These caps belong to the same family where the body of the cap is round and there is a stiff peak in front. It’s okay to get confused with these terminologies, but let’s distinguish one from the other for the sake of posterity.

     1.    The Newsboy;

The Newsboy

     2.    The Ascot;

The Ascot

     3.    The Flat Cap; and

The Flatcap

     4.    The Gatsby

The Gatsby

They differ in the size of the brim, visor and the fluffiness of the body. Now it’s up to you as to which one suits your taste.

Beanie

Beanies are head-hugging brimless caps that are, more often than not, without any visors. These are perfect on casual wear but be careful wearing them in formal events.

Beckham's Beanie

Give anyone an oversized beanie and a leather jacket and they’re good to go.

MMC Urban Beanie

Urban Beanie from ModernManCollection.com

Hats can build an image. If you want to stand out in a crowd wear something that is not worn by many. You don’t need to always conform to what is trendy and popular. Build up your own style and let others follow suit. These hats might be just what you’re looking for.