Grey skies....well no not really. Actually was a decently bright day but now as I sit here creating this post, I'm watching big flakes of snow fall outside my window and shaking my head in disgust. While we haven't necessarily had what one would call a comfortably warm day, we've had a few days where it was decent enough to do without a coat.
One of the first articles I read shortly after really getting into this thing was about the #menswear uniform, which essentially is a combination of navy and grey, whether jacket and trousers as seen here or vice versa. What I really dug was the smooth simplicity of it all. It's not something you needed to overthink. As long as you nailed the fit and kept your shirt and tie combo tasteful, anyone could pull it off. This is one of my takes on the uniform.
This particular day was a little bit cooler than what we've had recently, so I decided to add an extra layer to take that bite off. The issue I have always had with layering is that it tends to impact the fit of the top pieces, especially when buying things off the rack. When having things made, it's fairly easy to get a bit of a trimmer fit to compensate for that. With an example such as this sweater. I knew I wanted it to be trim enough to wear under a jacket and that would be the only way I planned to wear it. So when it got marked down enough, I pulled the trigger and bought a small instead of a medium. While its very snug through the body, the sleeves were long enough to serve my purpose.
Now I recognize that not everyone wants to buy clothes for this specific a reason, but sometimes it just makes sense if you know what aesthetic you're going for.
Double-Breasted Jacket x Suit Supply, Sweater x Gap, Light Grey Oxford Cloth Button Down x Stafford, Grey Tie x Izod, Wool Trousers x Gap, Brown Suede Oxfords x Unknown, Watch x Kenneth Cole, Pocket Square x Nordstrom, Glasses x Tom Ford.
Before I get started, I want to thank the good folks over at Testosterone for sending over a pair of their "Finish Line" wingtips for me to check out. Have to be honest, I was hesitant at first as I probably would never have tried such a bold pair of shoes on my own if the opportunity hadn't presented itself. However it did, and quite frankly I'm not sorry.
Made in India, leather and suede uppers, the shoe is decently put together. No obvious assembly defects and while the leather isn't the highest quality, it's not flimsy either. I applied a decent amount of pressure on the toe box and it held its own. Soles are man made, but again not automatically a bad thing especially if budget is a concern. I was going for a sort of Great Gatsby taking a walk around his estate look, and so what better way to test for comfort (since I don't have an estate) than to take a walk around the local park? After about a mile and a half or so, there was no wrinkling across the suede which I took to be a good sign and one of my favorite things about suede. Even inexpensive suede will always look better than cheap leather. The Finish Line also brings together my two favorite colors; navy and grey. So, would I recommend wearing these with a suit? Probably not, but that's a personal preference. No doubt, one of you guys out there could pull that off with total aplomb. In my opinion, these are a solid casual pair of shoes whether slightly dressed up like this or even with a pair of denim, which I believe I'll be wearing them with quite a bit this spring and summer.
So now for why you're really here - Please leave your first name and last initial, email address and city in the comments, The winner will be selected at the end of the week and contacted for sizing information.
Also make sure you've liked/are following A Curated Man on Facebook and Instagram and that you're following Testosterone Shoes on Instagram as well.
Contest is only open to legal residents of the continental United States.
Alriiiiiiight....picking back up on the $150 wardrobe series. So this one was much tougher as I realized that while you can fairly easily put together a "business casual" look for under $150, odds are it won't look very good without at least one visit to the tailor. Unless of course you happen to be one of those people who just hits it out of the park EVERY SINGLE TIME you go thrifting or shopping, or as I call them, mythical unicorns.
I decided to add a decent off the rack fit to the criteria following the logic that if sticking to a budget is that important, you most likely prefer to avoid the spend that can come with alterations. Still $5 over tho but....
Merino Wool Sportcoat x Stafford - $49, Trim Fit Shirt x Lorenzo Uomo - $25, Tailored Fit Chinos x GAP - $13, Silk Tie x John W. Nordstrom - $8, Medallion Toe Boots x Giorgio Figlio - $60, Brown & Rose Gold Watch x Kenneth Cole, Polished Stingray Bracelet.
Of all the things I've added to my wardrobe recently, this leather bomber jacket has to be in the top five. I originally intended to order it online in a medium which I consider to be my "go-to" size because for some reason it was cheaper online than in store. Instead I decided to call and find out from the department manager if they would honor their online price, which he assured me they would. So I made my way on into my local store and tried on both a size medium and a small....and ended up buying the small because quite simply...it fit better.
Which brings me to a piece of advice that I've found very valuable over the last couple of years - instead of buying your "go-to" or "standard" size, actually try on various sizes, going a size down until you get to that too tight point then buy the size up. I've found that I end up with better fitting clothes doing this. Now of course this presumes that one knows when they've gotten to too tight, but considering that standard sizing tends to be far from standard depending on the brand, I definitely recommend giving it a shot.
Leather Bomber Jacket x St. John's Bay, Quilted Vest x Stafford Prep, Plaid Shirt x JCP, Knit Tie x Tommy Hilfiger, Belt x JCP, Trousers x GAP, Wingtip Boots x Hawkings McGill, Gold "Monopoly" Watch x Nixon, Tortoiseshell Glasses x GANT by Michael Bastian. (Y'all thought I was kidding about JC Penny coming through this past year, huh?)
"Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out" - James Bryant Conant. This blog is documentation of my journey, sticking my neck out to pursue my passion for men's style and tailoring. - Wale