If Steve Carell Can Do It, So Can You! (How Guys Can Transfer Their Wardrobe In 11 Photos)

I get it. You don’t want to look like this guy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to look like this guy either.

Or even worse, this guy.

Lesson learned? Alright, now it’s time to learn how to look like this guy.

Don’t be afraid… this would work too.

So in all seriousness, let’s start with the Basics.

Skinny Ties a must, Plaid/Patterned Button-up Shirts another must, Grey, Navy, or Khaki Blazer check! If you’re not a shopper buy multiples in different colors that you know are uber comfortable. Now onto the next piece of important business…

Skip the Pleats! The guys who avoid the diaper crotch and wear fitted pants always get the girl. Or at least that’s how it works in my fairytales. So stop this very moment and vow never to buy pleated pants again even if they are on sale for $12. I digress. Next…

 Dark Wash Jeans. Not light, not faded glory (no pun intended) but simple dark wash to medium wash jeans. Add some character and roll them up to change your look and show off your cool socks. After all, you’re not fooling anyone. We know you’ve worn those same jeans all this week.

Did I mention to update your Shoes? What about your Socks? This is a simple way to move your teen image into your new 20 something professional state. Yep… I along with everyone else realize that your t-shirt is from your senior class in the year 2000 something, and I think the Salvation Army would like to add it to their collection. As for the details…

It’s easy way for a guy to update his wardrobe! Add a new watch, some new sunglasses, maybe a spankin’ new belt, you guys seriously don’t know how easy you’ve got it. And last but not least…

I know you love your dad, we all do, alright well that sounded creepy. Forget that point, let me try again. You might love your dad, but that doesn’t mean you have to dress like him. If Steve Carell can make the change, so can you.

Welcome to your 20 somethings guys, now let’s make it happen!

P.S. – Don’t forget to add some dark khaki’s (not cargo), t-shirts under blazers, and to mix grey’s and browns together more often than not!

One Way to Make Your Guy Less Sweaty!

I don’t shop there often, but when I do I always seem to find a new must-have item that I want to drop a bill on.  What am I talking about?  TJ Maxx and the item is the new, at least to me, Nike Dri-Fit cotton graphic t-shirts.  The first reason for loving this shirt is that I sweat my butt off anytime the temps reach the 65 degree mark. That also might mean I’m overweight, but I’m in love with beer… so back off.

These Dri-Fit t-shirts were 10 bucks at TJ Maxx.  Seriously, how do you go wrong for 10 bucks?  More than likely, these are “last year’s model”, but as a guy I don’t really care.  These shirts are the bee’s knees and I don’t think Dri-Fit t-shirts will be going out of style anytime soon.

First of all, it’s the lightest, most breathable t-shirt I have ever bought, tried on, or dreamt about and for a nice a little bonus it doesn’t showcase my nipples. Let us just call this a win, win.  Second of all, the Dri-Fit fabric really does what it says.  Last week, my wife and I walked all the way to the Coffee Emporium (local coffee shop) with my two purse dogs (my wife “made” me buy them but technically, you’d need a somewhat large purse to carry them).  I threw this shirt on before the walk and five minutes into half mile, mostly uphill, it really wicked the sweat off my body.  My only problem now is that I don’t have enough of these shirts!  At this point, I’d even settle for a half dozen with the same logo on the front! Not to say that Nike needs anymore fans or self-promotion…

 

I’ve been searching the web for deals and it seems that Dick’s Sporting Goods has the best variety.  They are a bit more expensive (about $30), so I’m still holding out that the Maxx will get a new shipment in.   While Dick’s has the best variety of logos, from the basic Nike Air to King James, I’d rather turn this one yellow before I declare to the world that Lebron James is King.  (Go Bucks!)

As you’re looking for items to add to your summer wardrobe, give this one a try.  (And when you find them, buy multiples!)  Because whether you’re at the gym or just hanging out, this shirt will help you beat the summer heat and look good while doing it.  Until next time…

Style is a choice, so make your’s.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

MAN HAS EVOLVED! What To Get Your 20 or 30 Something Guy For Father’s Day!

It seems man has evolved. What was once a pleated panted professional is now turning into a stylish slightly more groomed guy. I’m not so sure who to blame for this phenomenon. Was it man having more options in this internet “shop at home” era or was it man rebelling against the visual image of turning into their fathers golfing buddies? This we may never know, but what we can only hope is that it puts an end to light wash jeans, pleated pants, ill-fitted shirts, and unfortunate shoes.

When it comes to Father’s Day I naturally tend to think of my own father which makes sense and is slightly less creepy than thinking of others. However, these past few months, it has been brought to my attention that fathers are not only 50 year-old men with blogging daughters, but in fact, they are also first time fathers who are in their 20’s and bordering on their 30’s. Surprising right?

It seems while I’ve often wrote about 20 something moms-to-be, I’ve skipped the “20 or 30 something” father-to-be. With Father’s Day around the corner, I get that the younger and more hip diaper changing dad could always use a new Apple product, but it can only be expected that the evolving man would be open to having something even better in store (literally).

So… I’ve compiled a list of stylish Father’s Day options for the man who acts more like Jim from The Office but carries the swagger of John Krasinski. Just think of yourself as the American version of Emily Blunt (don’t we all?).

Trunk Club

“For the man who hates to dress himself.”

Trunk Club provides hand selected outfits shipped to your door.

Manpacks

“For the man, whose mom still buys his underwear.”

While P&G is thanking moms, Manpacks is putting them out of business… sort of? The evolving man can’t rely on his mom to purchase his undergarments anymore. So instead he has them auto-delivered to his door.

Jack Threads

“For the man, who doesn’t model.”

It’s real fashion for guys, oppose to Calvin Klein models.

Bonobos

“For the man, who needs some personal style help.”

You can actually schedule an appointment with Bonobos to guide you through their clothing options including suits.

Move Over Grandpa.. Short Sleeve Button-Ups Are Back!

So just about everyone I know (especially my guy friends) thinks it’s straight up hilarious that I would be the guy to write a fashion blog.  Even my wife’s coworkers think I’m some made-up husband who is handy around the house AND very well put together for a night out.  Honestly though, if you knew my wife, it would be hard to believe that she married a dude who blogs at all.  In the end, no matter what you do, what you wear or what you say, people are going to judge and have an opinion (a wrong opinion if you’ve been following my advice, but nonetheless an opinion) about how you dress.

As I climb the age ladder and come closer to no longer being a twenty-something, I’m starting to learn that you need to do whatever makes you feel good and not worry about what other people think.  I truly believe in everything that I write in this blog, but if you feel like wearing sweatpants on the weekend, just do it. I realize this is the same statement you got out of your fortune cookie last week, but rest assured that you will not scroll down and find Chinese characters for the word horse.  What I’m saying is the truth and you’ll be able to use this advice for the rest of your life.  By the way, who thought that knowing the Chinese word for horse would be helpful?  How many times do you use the word horse in your everyday vocab?

Almost done on the soapbox…stay with me.

Your fashion really is intended to make you feel good.  I feel in the past I’ve given some pretty solid advice about looking good in the office by suggesting items that are easy to find and pair with what you already have in your closet.  In this way, I’m hoping that you can merge your personal style with today’s fashion.   If you’ve followed me in the past, it’s pretty easy to tell that I’m a big J. Crew fan, but that doesn’t mean that I dress myself like one of the manikins I see in the window at the mall.  We all have limited funds (and prefer you not to look like a manikin), so we need to blend in bits and pieces to put our look together for the day.  In the end, take what works for you, ignore the rest and you will be just fine.

So, now that you’ve heard my schpeal, I want to leave you with some advice about a new item that you may want to add to your collection…a short-sleeved button-up.  I became interested in this piece of clothing because of a friend (his wife happens to own this blog).  Fortunately for me, he put up with a lot of teasing at the office so that I could discover this shirt.  I had always thought that button-ups were for men over 50 as weekend-wear, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The fit and the colors popping up in stores are very modern and sharp-looking.  You might have to try a few different stores to find the right fit for you (for example, some brands run too small in the shoulders), but it just might be what you’ve been looking for.  Until next time…

Style is a choice, so make your’s.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

 

A Lesson For Guys: What Color of Socks Should You Be Wearing

I find it humorous that the guys who constantly give me crap about wearing sweater vests are the same guys that wear brown shoes with black socks.  Once again, this tells me that some dudes have no idea what they are supposed to wear.  Today, I want to talk about this huge work attire faux pas and get everyone back on the same page.

Before anyone gets scared away, I will tell you that this lesson in work attire is pretty simple.  In fact, just remember this one rule…only wear black socks with black shoes.  Period.  Commit this to memory and you’ll be good to go.  If you’re afraid you’ll forget, write it on a post-it note in your closet, tattoo it on your forehead, or whatever works for you.  By the way, don’t keep this information to yourself.  Let everyone know that if you plan to sport black shoes to work (or anywhere for that matter), you better be wearing black socks as well.

So now that we’re good on black shoes, you might be asking, “What about if I’m wearing brown shoes?”  This is also very simple.  Don’t wear black socks.  Period.  Any other color will work.  There are the basic blues, browns, and tans that you can find anywhere, but if you really want to put a little style in your step, don’t be afraid to go with something a bit more colorful.  For example, head to Express and pick up some pink and gray striped socks or, for the more adventurous, some brightly-colored argyle socks.  You may think your shoes are cool enough as is, but buying some different socks is an easy and inexpensive way to put a finishing touch on your look.

So to recap the lesson for today…

Black shoes….black socks

Brown shoes…Anything but black socks

Until next time…

Style is a choice, so make yours.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

 

When Polos Attack!!!

When I first contemplated taking on this whole blog thing, I had a few ideas of what I wanted my column’s voice to be.  My first post put into light the fashion-free work zone I battle on a daily basis.  I talked about how the sweater vest had become the anti-apparel and how I was going to rescue it.   Basically, I wanted to create a place where the average guy could get advice on what to wear to work.  While I admit I have gotten a little off course (though not as bad as my parents  winding up on a dirt road in Indiana after following the every command of their Australian GPS tour guide). I’m still heading in the right direction, so don’t get your nickers in a bunch quite yet.

 

My adventures in the world of engineering and fashion collided again last week when I walked into an auditorium filled with nerds.  You would not believe how many men you could put in a room with no sense of fashion at all… it’s actually 183.  This inspired me to get back to the basics of putting the working man’s wardrobe together.

Let’s focus on the king of the casual work place: the polo shirt.  Just like everything, every brand fits a little differently.  It takes some trial and error to find a brand that really works well with your body as some have a boxier cut while others are more tailored.  I suggest going to three different stores so that you can try on the polos and compare.   You will see that there is more room in different areas.  For instance, the J Crew shirts tend to run a little small in the shoulders and have smaller sleeves while Old Navy shirts are much roomier for a larger build.  My go-to standard is the Ralph Lauren Polo shirt.  I prefer the classic fit in a solid color because it fits good on my arms but isn’t too tight in the midsection.  When I can, I buy them from the outlet mall, as they are the same exact shirt but for about $15 cheaper.

 

As you take this journey, I have two suggestions.  First, read the label.  Lacoste shirts are great, but if you wash them wrong, they will seriously shrink a whole size and you’ll be out a $75 shirt.  Second, make sure the fit works for your body.  When you try on the polos, really take a look in the mirror at several angles or bring along someone who won’t mind giving you their opinion.  Trust me, you don’t want to be the beer belly in the tailored cut!  Until next time…

Style is a choice so make yours,

JK

(Your Guy’s Style) When Fashion and Function Collide…

As a guy, I notice when a girl is flashing a sexy high-heel.  Partially, because it puts majority of women at eye-height, but mostly because heels can make women look amazing……in a fashion sense.  Come on, I’m married and I’m usually too busy looking at my wife’s sexy legs to notice anyone else.  When I do notice other women, I’m obviously just admiring their fashionable Jimmy Choo’s (make note of this guys, this is a high-end shoe brand that some women would give up their first-born child for).

At the same time, I’m also thinking, those have got to hurt.  Why would anyone wear something so uncomfortable just to attract the attention of the opposite sex?  Well, I guess that’s exactly why.  It works, and I noticed.  Unfortunately, the pack of meatheads next to me noticed as well. Yet, if wait a little longer you can see most women carrying their shoes by the end of the night.  I would agree that it’s better to walk around with bare feet in a bar or a club with a beer-laced floor than have numb feet and crunched toes.  Luckily for me, I don’t have to worry about taking the “beer feet” back to my house…my wife is 5’10” and wears flats.  So how does this affect me you might ask?  Glad you asked.

As a young twenty-something, I have a pretty active lifestyle.  I enjoy going to the gym, getting outside, and I play a lot of volleyball.  I too fell into the lust of fashion and, unfortunately, it resulted in injury.  Yesterday, I decided to forego my Asics even though they are designed for the court and I have worn them to every match for the last two years.  Instead, I decided to sport a pair of Nike FlyWire cross-trainers because I thought they looked cooler.  Well Mr. Fashion here tripped on the first approach before I even jumped to hit the ball and landed on my back with a sprained ankle.  So not only did I not get enough court time for someone to notice the shoes, I had the whole gym laughing at my sweet volleyball skills.

So what’s my point?  Fashion is great.  People center their whole lives on fashion.   Overall, it makes the world a little more interesting.  But remember, certain situations call for fashion while others call for a balance of fashion and function.  You shouldn’t put yourself at risk just to look good (this including heels).  Otherwise, you end up on the couch while your wife takes care of the dogs, makes dinner, and brings you beer (all things I love, but not nearly as enjoyable when I’m hurt).  Time to elevate, ice, and pop some Aleve.  Until next time…

Remember, fashion is a choice so make yours.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

The Ultimate Man Shoe…

While most of my friends tend to joke that it’s my womanly hobby and my wife can’t stand the fact that every room in our house has a pair of shoes hiding in some corner, I pride myself on my taste for shoes (and I have a shit ton). Shoes are one of the best ways a male can accessorize his ensemble.  Besides, wearing the same old shoes every day is just boring.  While I do have quite a collection of wing tips and chukkas, my focus today is on the ultimate man shoe.

After transitioning from the frigid Wisconsin winter to whatever the hell you call this Cincinnati weather, I have found myself in search of a niche, manly shoe to serve a specific role…do anything and everything I need outside.  While my large and chunky winter space boots with Gortex lining might keep your toes from falling off in the Alaskan wilderness, they don’t necessarily jive with the moderate temps this wonderful part of the world gets.

I really needed something that I could slip on in rain, snow, mud, slush, leaves, sewage backup…you know, manly stuff.  Then I remembered my childhood and the awesome L.L. Bean boots my mom bought me! Turns out they still make them and market them towards men.  At first I was a little skeptical, but after reading some of the reviews from life-long Beanies, I bought a pair.  These things are awesome!

Men’s Bean Boots by L.L.Bean®, 8″ Thinsulate

They have served all of my needs thus far, though I haven’t had to deal with the sewage backup yet.  As an added plus, they are stylish enough to wear outside the yard if the weather calls for it.  They come in two basic colors, brown or tan and a variety of ankle heights.  You can also buy them with Thinsulate for an added cost.  My extra plug for the shoes: The full rubber sole is super easy to clean if you happen to step in dog crap.  Not sure you can top that.  Until next time…

Remember, style is choice so make yours,

JK

Attention Guys: Fashion Tips for What to Wear When Your Traveling on a Plane!

Getting stuck in the middle seat on a plane is an absolute nightmare, and attempting to pull off a look with any kind of style is next to impossible unless you change your expectations. When traveling, realize that comfort should be the overwhelming factor of each piece you choose to put on. Going with solid classics will allow you to easily pass through security and keep your temperature under control; yet will be versatile enough for whatever you have planned once you land. Here are my flight must-haves…

Slip on shoes is an absolute must-have. There are no laces to worry about getting stuck in the moving walkway (yes, I’ve seen that) and they are easy to take off in the plane if needed. Lately, I’ve really been into Clarks. They are durable yet comfortable and look great with jeans or khaki pants. I prefer a darker leather as it has a tendency to hide stains or scratches better than lighter colors. These shoes run between $80 and $100, but because they work with so many things, you will get your use out of them.

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My next flight essential is a super soft, jersey cotton v-neck t-shirt. Nordstrom has a really cool store line called Public Opinion that is a little more fitted in the shoulders, but has plenty of room in the body. For about $25, it feels like you’re wearing your favorite broken-in t-shirt from high school with a more grown-up style. You can’t go wrong. When there’s a chance I could go straight from the airport to a nicer dinner, I pack an extra button-down shirt in my carry-on bag. This way, I change in the airport and look fresh at the restaurant. After my last flight, I might also suggest packing an extra shirt no matter where you’re going. I got stuck next to this large dude who had the middle seat. Why are the large dudes always in the middle seats!? Anyways, he looked fine, sat down and took off his jacket. That’s when it hit me…No joke, he smelled like salami! And because he was “rolling” (pun intended) over into my seat, I too smelled like salami the whole ride to the hotel.

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Lastly, I always make sure I bring a fleece pullover. The North Face TKA 100 is a lightweight half zip pullover for $50 that is perfect for flights. You never know if the plane is going to be hot or cold, so layering allows for temperature control so you don’t sweat your ass off. They provide enough warmth if the plane is cold and roll up to fit easily into your carry- on if you take it off. The goal is to prevent huge pit stains when you walk off the jet way. Smelling like Mr. Salami and having pit stains is just bad luck. Until next time…

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Style is a choice so make yours,

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.

Skinny Pants Are for Teen-Age Skaters Who Think They’re Gangstas

So last week I touched on the fact that the typical work environment is filled with dudes totally lost when it comes to dressing for the office. Unfortunately for guys, most male to male relationships are not conducive to fashion conversations. I get it. On one hand, you have the relentless humiliation from your buddies the instant you ask them where you should go to get your new pea coat, but on the other hand, asking the opinion of the office copy guy is just as sad. Unless laziness is the root cause of your poor clothing choices, there is hope! You just need to be pushed in the right direction.


Let’s start with something easy, pants. I alluded to Rule One in my last blog, NO PLEATED PANTS. Do you really need an explanation? Now, let’s get down to business. Basically, there are three types of cuts for men with variations of each depending on the store.

First, there is the Classic cut, the traditional casual dress pant. It tends to be tapered all through the leg with limited room for movement. In today’s trends, it’s an acceptable looking skinny pant without cutting off circulation to your manhood. This style looks good for shorter guys or guys with athletic runner-type builds.

Second, there is the Regular cut. Same basic look and style as the Classic with more room in the hips as the legs are straight through to the ankles. This is my preferred cut, as I have an average body type. It also looks good without being too constricting while sitting in the office all day.

Third is the Bootcut, an oversized pant that is much larger in the thighs and legs. It’s exactly what it says, bootcut, meant to be worn with boots. If your occupation calls for field work, it’s a viable option as it provides the movement while still looking acceptable in the office. If you’re more often found in a cubicle, I would keep these for the weekend.

Now that you know a little bit about the styles out there, you need to get to the store and try them on. When you’re at J Crew or Banana Republic or the Gap it can be awkward when the sales guys asks if you need help. Although there are exemptions, most of the time he’s working at a retail store with a side agenda to get your number, so use his option, I guarantee he knows the clothing better than you do. Don’t worry about the color right away, but grab a few different cuts to try on and see how you like them. Go for comfort, and if you really like a particular pair you might want to pick up more than one.
 
Quick Notes:  These types of pants tend to shrink a lot after the first wash so try going up one size to save the frustration of squeezing your beer gut into your brand new purchase. And don’t even think about rolling up the bottom of your pants as seen in these photos. They are just trying to show off the shoes, so you’ll buy those too.
 
Remember, style is a choice so make yours.

J.K. is a 20 something transplant to Cincinnati.  He works for a national engineering firm and is a newcomer to the fashion blogging scene.  Follow J.K.’s style for guys every other Wednesday and post questions on www.realitychicblog.com.