When I met Kumar about a decade ago, he introduced me to the unique world of men's fashion. That initial arousal of my interest in this sub-discipline has grown and has been held ever since. Well, at the very least, I've been "sensitized" to it and can now spot (and smell!) a faux-pas from a mile away! And now, Kumar and myself are forming a dynamic duo (of sorts!) and together, we're endeavoring, to gently nudge and guide men, on to the path of sartorial "enlightenment."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week Thirty-four: Spread vs Narrow Point Collars

Without getting too technical because frankly speaking, I don't know the first thing about photography, I love Deb's clever and skillful employment of technique and trained eye for interesting subjects such as this one of an already intrinsically attractive shirt, superpositioned against the backdrop of some form of neat custom furniture that lends even more to it in terms of effects and makes for an overall greater and not too mention, very interesting pic. I'm going to continue this post by way of comparison and contrast, that is between the narrow point collar and spread collar, such as the one in Deb's photograph.

Although, the narrow point collar shirt has got to be the least preferred dress shirt (if even a choice at all!) of the metro male who favor spread collars to accomodate their penchant (that borders on the pathologic!) for chunky (silky!) Windsor tie knots, it certainly does have its rightful place, that is resting below the Adam's apple of men with *rounder* faces.

I won't harp on and on as to why, the reason is simple and should be plain: the longer and vertical collar points of this shirt balances out the horizontality of a round face, a spread collar only pronounces it. I won't go so far as to say either that "clothes make a man" because as I've emphasized in the past, it's the person we are within that really counts and is what we should constantly be refining, nevertheless, clothes do speak volumes about their wearer. Hence, a man with a rounder face who consciously chooses a narrow point collar "tells" me that he's cognizant of what would unnecessarily accentuate a flaw, if you will, and avoids it. He won't blindly jump headlong into a trend bandwagon without paying regard to whether it might suit him or not. He's sartorial-savvy and self-aware, and naturally, better dressed!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week Thirty-three: The Metro Ethos; Layering

If I were to be completely honest, I have a hard time too myself understanding the Metro ethos sometimes - I mean, why is it that Kumee chose without a moment's hesitation to wear a pink sweater to the mall the other day and yet balked at having to carry a completely gender neutral black umbrella this morning, all because it had what he referred to as a "girly (silver) trim" that runs around its edges?

Going back to Kumee's pink sweater last Sunday, later on that day, we were with friends and naturally, sometime during the course of the evening, the conversation focused on Kumee's outfit which became quite a polarizing subject for discussion. Needless to say, mixed company, mixed opinions, and amidst the debate, Kumar good-naturedly quipped, "It kinda lights up the whole room, doesn't it"? Which elicited even more smiles. "But it's nice!" our other metro friend insisted, in Kumee's defense - our same metro friend whose ensemble a week earlier had caught my attention - not because it was impossibly impeccably tailored - I wouldn't expect anything less from him anyways, it was the peak lapels on his single-breasted suit that piqued my interest and of course, not to mention, the pink sweater beneath it worn over a wide spread collar shirt and Windsor tie-knot - this layering being, what I found out later, his artful (and metro!) way of camouflaging some imaginary pounds that he claims he had gained while vacationing in Italy with his lovely wife.

Whether one does it to mask some perceived flaw, or simply to survive frigid winters, layering certainly makes for an interesting outfit (that need not be bulky!). I think it's recommended year-round especially during the transitional months of Spring and Autumn when the weather can be neither quite hot nor cold - layering permits the peeling off or adding of pieces accordingly, and then come summer, it's definitely your best (and stylish!) defense against drafty cubicles...


Photo credit: Debs of PIX Me! Photography, thank you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week Thirty-two: Beyond the Basics!

Once you've got you're basic suits covered (solid black, navy and grey), why not expand your wardrobe's repertoire to include other versatile pieces? Experiment with different colors, fabrics and patterns. Perhaps opt for a sports jacket - be it double or single-breasted - instead of an actual jacket-trouser ensemble for a change and your closet will be well on its way towards well-appointedness!

I had completely forgotten about this beige and white, cotton, Boss, sports jacket of Kumee's until he pulled it out yesterday to pair up with a checkered pink shirt. I love how it can be both dressed up and down. This is the snazzy way to wear it as demonstrated by Kumee. Of course, it goes just as well with a pair of dark wash jeans!

Pink Boss tie, uh, no-name paisley pocket square lol, brown Cole Haans and of course, some fancy guy hosiery, underneath the pants :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Week Thirty-one: From Raffia to Mafia!

Hats are pretty much one of those things that you either like or don't care for at all, it's either you're a "hat person" or not. Both Kumee and I fall under the latter category...how boring! Well, it doesn't help when you feel you have a largish head that's disproportionate to the rest of you. And that this has been confirmed real and not just imagined by the fact that your kids are at the 90th percentile of the head circumference growth curve chart as religiously plotted by their pediatrician, meaning only 10% of their pint-size peers have bigger heads, thanks of course to your lovely genes, well, that only adds insult to injury!

And while a hat may hyper-emphasize a large head (or if you're even lucky enough to find one that fits, that is!) it certainly also does an amazing job at covering up a multitude of other head/hair flaws and woes - be them temporary, semi-permanent or permanent (e.g. bad hair days, bad haircuts/hairdresser gone scissor happy/amok, receding hairlines and thinning crowns, alopecia, a funny-shaped head, gross peroxide/toner ratio miscalculation etc. etc.) It's also quite sensible to wear one to shield one's self from the elements and especially during the summer for protection from the sun's relentless beating. Of course, it's only by actually wearing it, though, that one would derive such benefits, and not just carrying it around like David Beckham had for accessory purposes/as a fidgeting/wringing deterrent (I mean, how cumbersome!) at the Royal Wedding, in which case it would be completely useless, the way we had spent a good portion of our time waiting fruitlessly last Friday for Mr. Posh to indulge us with the sight of him with his top hat, uh, atop his head!

Raffia, Mafia fedoras, and a funky blue felt one, lol! (As always, thanks to Debs of PIX Me Photography!)